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Tikanga tiaki mahi moenga whakaparauri

Sun-beds code of practice

​How to provide a safe service

Essential health and safety

  • Age restriction: You must ensure that no one under the age of 18 years is permitted to use a sun-bed.
  • You must supervise all sun-beds used by any customer on your business site at all times.
  • Ensure any part or surface of a sun-bed that is subject to body contact with a sun-bed user is either disinfected or, if disposable, completely replaced after the sun-bed has been used.

Training: sun-bed operators

Any person who is supervising the operation of a commercial sun-bed must be properly trained to:

  • practically implement requirements of the applicable standard, including identification of medication that causes photosensitivity
  • determine skin types and exposure times
  • properly screen for potentially exposure-limiting conditions
  • follow emergency procedures in case of overexposure to ultra-violet radiation
  • determine types and wavelength of ultra-violet radiation
  • perform correct procedures for cleaning and disinfecting protective eyewear and tanning equipment.

Explain precautions and aftercare

Before starting a sun-bed service, you must:

  • advise your customer of the risks associated with the service; and
  • give written advice on precautions and post service procedures that the customer should take.

Get customer's consent and assess their skin type

Before the start tanning sessions, you must determine the customer’s skin type based on the skin type assessment completed by the customer.

You must give a consent form to the customer. Customers on photosensitive medication should not use a sun-bed.

Before starting any sun-bed service you must ensure that:

  • the customer completes a skin type assessment
  • the customer returns the signed and dated consent before the start of the first tanning session
  • you offer a copy of the signed and dated consent form to the customer
  • you file the original signed and dated consent form in your records for a period of two years.

Skin type exclusions

You must be aware that:

  • individuals with Skin Phototype 1 (Fitzpatrick Skin Type) are not permitted to use a sun-bed
  • individuals with a history of melanoma are not permitted to use a sun-bed.

Protective eyewear

You must ensure protective eyewear:

  • is worn by every sun-bed user
  • is either disinfected or, if disposable, completely replaced after the sun-bed has been used
  • complies with the applicable standard.

Maximum repeated exposure

  • You must ask the customer if they have used a sun-bed anywhere in the past 48 hours.
  • Ensure that repeated exposure is not allowed before 48 hours after the previous exposure.
  • Ensure that exposure does not exceed three times a week.    

Keep records

Keep records secure and confidential for a minimum of two years and make them available for inspection, on request.

Control of exposure time

Determine, set and control the exposure time for a session according to the skin type and the number of prior sessions.

An exposure chart should be available for each tanning unit to enable you to determine the time settings to achieve a particular dose for each customer.

Automatic timing device

You must ensure that the sun-bed has a functional automatic timing device that will terminate the session when the maximum initial exposure or repeated exposure time has been reached.

Lamp replacement

You must ensure each full set of sun-bed lamps are routinely checked for ultra-violet radiation output and changed within the lamp manufacturer’s specified useful life.

You must keep records of lamp operating hours on the premises for two years and make them available for inspection, on request.


Do not promote non-cosmetic health benefits of sun-bed use. You must not claim that sun-bed use is safe from risk.

Warning notices

You must place one or more warning notices in the immediate view of every customer entering each of the sun tanning unit areas, and that these notices are a minimum A4 size.

You must show the following information:

  • Tanning units emit ultra-violet radiation.
  • Exposure to ultra-violet radiation from sun-beds can cause melanoma, skin cancer, skin ageing and eye damage.
  • Repeated exposure to ultra-violet radiation from sun-beds further increases risk.
  • People with fair skin who burn easily and people with any other risk factors for melanoma will not be permitted to use a tanning unit.
  • Further intentional exposure to sunlight or a tanning unit must be avoided for the next 48 hours.
  • Protective eyewear must be worn at all times while undergoing tanning unit exposure.
  • No person under the age of 18 years is permitted to use a tanning unit.
  • People who are unsure of their own personal risk of melanoma and skin cancer should consult their GP before using a tanning unit.

Best Practice: additional recommendations

  • Due to an increased risk for sun-bed users of unsupervised, self-service sun-beds, such sun-beds should not be available to the public for use.
  • The Indoor Tanning Association of New Zealand recommends that sun-beds must be maintained and serviced to an approved standard, as detailed by the equipment supplier and in compliance with New Zealand appliance requirements.
  • Other legislative acts, guidelines and codes of practice also relevant include World Health Organisation “Artificial tanning sun-beds risks and guidance 2003”, and the Ministry of Health “Guidelines for Operators of Ultraviolet (UV) Tanning Lamps 2009”.

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