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Employee has too many injuries

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  • Employee has too many injuries

    Hello, I recently purchased an already established grooming salon with a full staff. One of the groomers who has been there for over ten years keeps having accidents. Some are minor like razor burn, others are catching a dogs tail in the dremmel, nicking the inside flap of the dogs leg with clippers and the worst actually involved taking a dog to the vet for stitches. She has had more injuries than my other groomers combined!

    I tried talking to her to see if she was feeling stressed and how I could help, but she said she was fine. I know accidents happen, but I've now lost a few clients because of her. On the flip side some clients like that she's been there a long time.

    What are your thoughts? How many accidents should be expected? Does anyone have guidelines for your shop and how this is handled? At what point do I quit trying and say enough is enough?

    Thank you!

  • #2
    No accidents should be expected. They should be extremely rare. This is my theory on these types of injuries. They usually happen for three reasons. Inexperience (not her case), dull equipment (they sound random and different so possible)or they are going too fast (most likely here). Tell her until she lessens her injury rate she has to do at least one dog less every day and slow down. I assume you are not a groomer? What she needs is someone to watch her and tell her what she is doing wrong to cause these injuries.


    • #3
      Thank you for your reply. No, I'm not a groomer. Just an avid dog lover!. My most experienced groomer noticed that she is taking the clippers straight up the leg and is why she is clipping the leg flap, but she doesn't feel comfortable telling her. Maybe I will say I mentioned it here and that's what I learned. The sad thing is last Thursday we had a slow day and she still managed to clip a dog in this spot. However, maybe if she knew she was getting less dogs as a consequence it would get her to shape up.


      • #4
        I have a busy business with 3 groomers counting me. We can go a year without an accident like a clipper burn or tongue cut from scissors. I expect no accidents. Cockerlvr is right on, she should be observed by an experienced groomer to see what is going on and likely something that she pointed out in her message. I also wonder sometimes about eyesight problems, or is she hiding a medical condition. I also have seen a groomer on medications that prohibited driving on them, but this lady was grooming. No way if they cannot drive but they can handle sharp equipment around a living creature??? NO!


        • #5
          Just some thoughts. How long have you owned this business?? I'm just saying this because when I went back to grooming school a few years back, I was really nervous. My injury rate is super low.. and the first week, I did something and did some clipper irritation on the tuck up, just inside. I always stretch, too.. and I didn't even notice that I had done that. (now I'm wondering if I did.. not that I wouldn't take responsibility, but these were dogs I didn't know.. so was it a sore and my instructor thought I had injured the dog??) Oh well.. water under the bridge. But when you are nervous, injuries happen.

          I would install cameras in the grooming area, the bathing area, and the entrance.

          After 10 years she should really have a rare injury rate. Does she need readers? No, I'm serious. I wear readers.. I'm so blind close up. I'm 2.25 for the computer and 3.00 for grooming! In comparison, my dh who is 66, wears 1.50 readers.

          Anyway.. maybe keep her only grooming those that request her?

          I think this is a tough one. Oh.. you know what? I have an idea.. a safety class. Put together with the help of some other groomers, a refresher type course on safety. Stress how important it is for the salon. The areas that are dangerous.. like that loose area under the neck, armpits, tuck ups, bums, that tendon on the back of the leg. How to prevent tongue and ear injuries. Perhaps smaller dogs can be put in a sling for dremeling. That's what I do so the tail is totally out of the way. Maybe think of another way that the tail can be out of the way. Make it a mandatory 1 hour class. Pay them for their time. If it needs to be longer then do another class a week later. The importance of keeping equipment in stellar, sharpened condition, and clean!!
          There's always room for another rose in the garden.


          • #6
            That simply doesn't make sense. Does she have a substance abuse problem? Sounds like she may be impaired from a night of drinking and followimg day coordination problems. Or she is actively impaired.? No chance I'd tolerate that. I'd get to the bottom of it rapidly.


            • #7
              I've owned the business for about 6 months now. I'm not the only one who has been noticing this and customers have called to complain. She also has a pretty bad attitude about it. That's the other issue, I don't think she's drinking or impaired, but she seems angry about her family life.

              I'm also struggling with her overall attitude. We've had some slow days and yet she has made it clear she doesn't want us to take last minute dogs. I'm really trying to weigh out giving her consequences like one of you suggested or just letting her go.


              • #8
                Let her go. Nothing worse than a bad attitude, slowly learn to groom.


                • #9
                  Thank you all for your responses! I have let this go on long enough. I think I am ready to deal with it.