Body Piercing

Body piercing is a risk factor for the transmission of blood-borne infections such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. Infection prevention and control precautions must be followed to protect both personal service workers and clients.

Infection prevention and control precautions must be followed to protect both personal service workers and clients. You do not have to see blood or bodily fluids on the instruments for an infection to occur.

The following is in addition to general operational requirements according to Ontario Regulation 136/18 Personal Service Settings.

Infection Prevention and Control Requirements

  • Hands must be washed
    • before and after each client,
    • before and after wearing gloves, and
    • in between breaks in service.
  • Wear single use gloves for each client.
  • Gloves must be changed between clients, and between breaks in providing service to the same client.
  • Remove any items not required from the work area including food and/or drinks.
  • Have all required supplies for service available and in easy reach.
  • Cover any work surfaces or items that cannot be disinfected with single-use disposable coverings.
  • Use single-use, disposable, sterile needles and discard immediately after use in an approved sharps container.
  • Only sterile jewellery is to be used for piercing.
  • Jewellery assembled by body piercer must be individually packaged and sterilized on site.
  • Open sterile, packaged equipment only when ready to begin procedure.
  • Use a no-touch technique to avoid direct contact with piercing site or sterile piercing equipment.
  • The site/s to be pierced must first be:
    • cleaned with an approved skin antiseptic;
    • then marked with an ‘iodine’ felt tip/marking pen, after one minute, once the pen mark has dried, the site/s are to be cleaned again with the approved skin antiseptic just prior to piercing.
    • Single-use items (i.e. toothpicks, etc.) can be used to mark such areas.
  • Re-useable equipment must be cleaned and disinfected or sterilized as required.
  • Store multi-use tools in a clean, covered container when not in use.
  • Provide client with verbal and written after-care instructions.
  • Use antibacterial mouth rinse for oral, or mouth piercing.

Blood and Body Fluid Exposure

  • Provide client with verbal and written after-care instructions including instructions to seek medical advice if complications occur.
  • Document all client and operator exposure to blood and body fluid.
  • Keep client records and accidental blood and body fluid exposure records on site for one year and readily available in a secure location for at least two years after the procedure.
  • Hepatitis B vaccination for staff is strongly recommended.


  • Re-useable equipment is manually cleaned or cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner, then disinfected and sterilized as required.
  • Used needles/sharps must be placed into a puncture-resistant, leak-proof container with a tight-fitting lid and properly labelled with a biological hazard sign.
  • Any lubricant or ointments used during the procedures must be dispensed in a manner which does not contaminate the bulk container.
  • Callipers used to measure the piercing site must be cleaned and disinfected with low level disinfectant at a minimum.
  • Equipment that comes in contact with sterile needle or jewellery must also be sterile and pre-packaged (e.g. forceps, needle pushers, connectors, pliers).
  • If a dermal punch tool is used on the client, it must be sterile and pre-packaged and single use.
  • Items that cannot be cleaned and disinfected must be discarded immediately after use (e.g. corks, elastic bands)
  • If using dermal punch method, (biopsy) tools must be purchased as sterile single-use disposable items. These devices cannot be re-used and must be disposed of in an approved sharps container immediately after use.
  • Closed-ended receiving tubes must be sterile, single-use and disposable. Open ended receiving tubes can be cleaned with a wire brush and sterilized between uses.


CIPHI Ontario Fact Sheets (2011) Body Piercing