Development Guide Tattooing and body piercing Public Health & Wellbeing Act 2008

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Development Guide - Tattooing and body piercing

Public Health & Wellbeing Act 2008


The City of Whittlesea Public Health Department welcomes your interest in developing a premises to be registered under the Public Health & Wellbeing Act, in the municipality and we hope you find this guide useful. This guide will help you design your Public Health & Wellbeing Act Premises efficiently and effectively to comply with the current Victorian legislation. We encourage you to read this guide before discussing your proposal with one of Council’s Environmental Health Officers.

Application of guide

This guide is to be used by proposed developers of new premises conducting tattooing and/or body piercing and also by existing tattooists and/or body piercing operators who propose to make alterations or renovations. The guide should be read in conjunction with the Public Health & Wellbeing Regulation 2009 and Health Guidelines for Personal Care & Body Art Industries..

What is a Public Health & Wellbeing Act premises?

Public Health & Wellbeing Act premises have been identified under the Public Health & Wellbeing Regulations 2009 as operations, which could potentially spread infections. During tattooing and body piercing, it is possible for viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C to be transmitted from the skin or blood of one person into the bloodstream of another person. This can happen when needles used for penetrating the skin are contaminated with infected blood or serum and are not sterilised before use on another person. Therefore tattooing and body piercing premises must be registered with Council under the Public Health & Wellbeing Act 2008.

Mobile tattooing and body piercing

Mobile tattooing and body piercing is not permitted due to the high risk of spread of infection.

Private homes

Public Health & Wellbeing Act registrations can be granted for businesses operating from private homes but they must meet the following conditions:

  • Town Planning approval to conduct a home occupation. For further information please contact Council’s Town Planning Department on 9217 2236.

  • If you are required to build, extend or structurally alter your home you should contact Council’s Building Department on 9217 2259

  • Once all of the above conditions are satisfied then an application can be made to the Public Health Department.

What do you need to do?

Step 1 - Discussion of proposal

Before undertaking any works, prospective operators are advised to discuss the proposal with one of Council’s Environmental Health Officers. A rough sketch layout of your proposal will assist in this preliminary process.

Step 2 – Plan approval service

It is recommended that before undertaking any works you should submit plans of your premises for approval.

The application form for the plan approval service can be requested from Health Services or can be downloaded from our website.. The process for plan approval is as follows:

  • Provide Council’s Public Health Department with two (2) copies of detailed plans drawn to a scale not less than 1:100. The plans are to:

  • show every part of the premises including yards and outbuildings.

  • show the location and type of all fixtures, equipment, furniture, shelving, benches, etc.

  • include specifications describing the type of materials to be used in the construction and finish of all floors, walls, ceilings, partitions, benches, shelving, fittings, cupboards and all fixtures and equipment.

  • provide an explanation of the work processes to be carried out in each room, compartment or part of the establishment.

Step 3 – Plan and specifications approved

  • Plans and specifications will be processed and approved within seven working days from the date of submission. This is assuming that all information is provided and that the plans and specifications comply with current regulations. A copy of the approved plan will be mailed to the applicant and it is recommended that this copy be on site during the construction phase of the premises.

  • You will need to consult with the Environmental Health Officer who approved your plan and specification to organise progress inspections of the construction phase of your premises.

  • A final inspection is required just prior to the opening of your premises. If the Environmental Health Officer is satisfied with the construction of your premises and that current regulations are complied with, then they will issue you with a Public Health & Wellbeing Act Application for Registration form.

  • The Public Health & Wellbeing Act Registration form needs to be completed and submitted to Council together with the required fee prior to the opening of your premises.

NOTE: Every Public Health & Wellbeing Act premises must be registered with Council. Registration will not be granted until it complies with all the requirements of the Victorian legislation.


Structural, furnishing and fittings

  • All floors, floor coverings, walls, ceilings, shelves, fittings and other furniture are to be constructed of materials suitable for the procedures being undertaken and must be kept clean and in good repair.

  • Sufficient bench space should be provided to accommodate equipment.

  • The client treatment areas are to be totally separate from areas set aside for cleaning and sterilising equipment.

  • The cleaning area is to be arranged so that dirty instruments are received in one area. It is to be designed so that all dirty instruments are moved through the cleaning area in a one way direction. This is to ensure that sterile instruments, clean instruments and dirty instruments remain separate from another.

Lighting & ventilation

  • Sufficient lighting and ventilation is required to safely conduct work practices.

Hand basins

  • A hand basin must be located in the immediate area where hairdressing is undertaken and must be supplied with:

    • hot and cold water via a single outlet;

    • liquid soap; and

    • disposable paper towels or air dryer.


  • A sink with hot and cold water additional to the hand basin is to be provided exclusively for washing equipment and instruments and is to be located in the cleaning area.


  • All clean linen, towels and clothing are to be stored appropriately to prevent soiling and contamination.

  • Clean, single-use, disposable covering material is to be provided and changed between clients:

    • On surfaces in the work areas where spillage or spattering of blood or body fluids is likely to occur.

    • For the protection of client and client’s clothing.

  • A suitable receptacle is to be provided for soiled linen and towels. The soiled items are to be cleaned as outlined in the Public Health & Wellbeing Regulations 2009 and the Health Guidelines for Personal Care and Body Art Industries.


  • A steriliser is required for the sterilisation of equipment that may become contaminated with blood during procedures.


  • A disposable sharps container is to be provided for the disposal of needles and other sharps. It must be an Australian Standard (AS 4031) specified disposable sharps container. The container must be disposed of in accordance with EPA requirements.


  • Infectious material such as blood stained swabs and blood contaminated gloves are to be disposed of into a bin marked “infectious waste” and then disposed of in accordance with EPA requirements.

  • A rubbish bin is to be provided for all other non-infectious wastes, such as paper etc.

Protective wear for staff

  • Disposable gloves are to be provided for operators who carry out tattooing and/or body piercing procedures.

  • Operators are to wear clean protective clothing when attending to clients.

Record keeping

  • Records should be kept of every client. The records should include name, address, date and the type of treatment that was carried out.

Information to clients

  • Provide information to clients about the transmission of infectious diseases associated with the process.

council offices 25 ferres boulevard, south morang vic 3752 locked bag 1, bundoora mdc vic 3083 tel 03 9217 2170 fax 03 9217 2111 tty 133 677 (ask for 9217 2170) email free telephone interpreter service arabic 9679 9871 mandarine 9679 9857 italian 9679 9874 macedonian 9679 9875 chinese 9679 9876 croatian 9679 9872 greek 9679 9873 turkish 9679 9877 vietnamese 9679 9878 other 9679 9879

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