Section 6 — Tattoo Operators and Visiting Artists

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6.1 Tattoo operators

6.1.1 It shall be unlawful for any person to act as a tattoo operator within a tattoo establishment, or for any Health Permit holder or person to employ another person as a tattoo operator, unless such person has been issued a Tattoo Operator Health Card by the Health Authority in accordance with these Regulations under Section 10-Health Card Requirements and Fees.

6.1.2 The Health Permit holder of a tattoo establishment may also hire tattoo operators who have been approved to work as visiting artists by the Health Authority.

6.1.3 Tattoo operators must be free from all communicable disease while administering tattoos.

6.1.4 Tattoo operators must not smoke while administering tattoos.

6.1.5 Prior to and immediately following administering tattoos, tattoo operators must thoroughly wash their hands and nails in hot running water and liquid soap, rinse them in clear warm water and then dry their hands with a disposable paper towel.

6.1.6 Tattoo operators must also wash their hands if at any point in applying the tattoo there is an interruption which causes the tattooing process to cease. Upon returning to the patron, tattoo operators must again wash their hands before donning fresh gloves.

6.1.7 During tattoo procedures, tattoo operators shall wear exam gloves. These gloves shall be discarded after each procedure to prevent cross-contamination and when damaged, soiled, or when interruptions occur in the procedure.

6.1.8 Tattoo operators, while on duty, shall: Utilize or wear effective hair restraints if they have hair over the ears; Have clean fingernails; Wear clean outer garments; and Have good personal hygiene.

6.1.9 Tattoo operators must demonstrate a high level of competence. Gross incompetence may be cause for suspension or nonrenewal of a Tattoo Operator Health Card.

6.1.10 Tattoo operators are prohibited from providing tattoo services outside of a tattoo establishment operating with a current valid Health Permit unless they are participating in an approved Special Event with an unexpired Health Permit. Tattoo operators wishing to participate in a Special Event must complete a Body Art Special Event Person/Business name application and event coordinator application if necessary and pay all applicable fees.

6.1.11 Tattoo Operator Health Cards are not transferable from person to person.

6.1.12 Tattoo operators shall not apply tattoos while under the influence of an intoxicating substance. No alcoholic beverages are permitted in the body art work station. Evidence that the tattoo operator is applying tattoos while inebriated is sufficient cause for immediate suspension of that individual’s Tattoo Operator Health Card.

6.2 Tattoo operator training and other requirements

6.2.1 Tattoo establishment Health Permit holders are required to comply with the State of Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry (29 CFR Part 1910.1030) regarding occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

6.2.2 Documentation of both hepatitis A and B immunizations of all tattoo operators working at the tattoo establishment must be maintained and available for review by the Health Authority. (See Appendix E for a sample documentation form for use by the tattoo establishment)

6.2.3 Health Permit holders or their designated responsible person are responsible for: Ensuring that tattoo operators working at their tattoo establishments initiate both the hepatitis A and B vaccination series within thirty (30) days of starting work unless: The tattoo operator has previously received the complete hepatitis A and/or B vaccination series and can provide documentation to the Health Authority that one or both of the series have been completed. If one has been completed, the tattoo operator must still complete the other series of vaccinations, Antibody testing has revealed that the tattoo operator is immune to either hepatitis A or B, or both. If antibody testing reveals that the tattoo operator is immune to one form of hepatitis, but not the other, then either: The vaccination series must be completed or Documentation of completion of the vaccination series shall be provided once the series is completed, for the form of hepatitis for which the tattoo operator has no immunity. The hepatitis A and/or B vaccines are contraindicated for medical or religious reasons; then the current SNHD policies regarding vaccine exemptions or deferrals shall be followed. Ensuring that individuals working in the tattoo establishment have a current SNHD Tattoo Operator Health Card and comply with all applicable health, safety, sanitation and sterilization Regulations of the SNHD and other state agencies. Tattoo operators must have their Tattoo Operator Health Card on their person when working and the tattoo establishment must have a copy at the facility available for review by the Health Authority. Notifying the Health Authority, verbally or in writing, when a tattoo operator starts or stops working at his tattoo establishment. Ensuring that at least one (1) person trained in CPR and First Aid is available at the tattoo establishment during all hours of operation. Current certification documents must be provided to the Health Authority for each certified person.

6.3 Visiting artists

6.3.1 An individual who is not a tattoo operator within Southern Nevada; but who routinely works in the tattoo industry in an area outside the jurisdiction of the Health Authority, may apply to be a visiting artist in Southern Nevada. Visiting artists from other jurisdictions must be hosted by a tattoo establishment with a valid Health Permit for a period of time no greater than the limit set forth in this section.

6.3.2 Each visiting artist must make application to the Health Authority for each time interval in which he would like to participate. (Application forms for visiting artists may be found in Appendix F)

6.3.3 While performing tattoo procedures within the jurisdiction of the Health Authority, visiting artists shall comply with all applicable Regulations. Failure to do so may result in revocation of permission to participate.

6.3.4 Visiting artists shall not perform procedures in any location whatsoever except the tattoo establishment or Special Event for which they are registered.

6.3.5 Once the visitation period of time is over, the visiting artist no longer has permission to operate within the Health Authority’s jurisdiction.

6.4 Failure to comply

Failure to comply with the provisions of this Section of these Regulations may result in Tattoo Operator Health Card suspension, revocation of permission for a visiting artist to operate, tattoo establishment or Special Event Health Permit suspension, and/or an administrative hearing.

Contact Information

Phone: (702) 759-0677


Updated on: January 4, 2019