Borough of Chester, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Chester 6-15-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-16. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Land development — See Ch. 163.
Sanitary code — See Ch. 253.

§ 212-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BODY PIERCER
One who engages in body piercing.
BODY PIERCING
The piercing or puncturing of the skin, cartilage, bone or other tissue on the human body, but not including ear lobe piercing.
CERTIFICATE OF INSPECTION
Written approval from the Health Officer or his/her authorized representative that said tattooing or body piercing establishment has been inspected and meets all of the terms of this chapter.
EAR LOBE PIERCING
The puncturing of the lobe of the ear or the trailing edge of the ear using a pre-sterilized single-use stud and clasp ear-piercing system following manufacturer's instructions.
ESTABLISHMENT
The premises wherein tattooing or body piercing is performed.
HEALTH OFFICER
The Borough of Chester Health Officer or his/her authorized representative or designee.
OPERATOR
Any individual, firm, company, corporation or association that owns or operates an establishment where tattooing or body piercing is performed, and any individual who performs or practices the art of tattooing or body piercing on the person of another.
SANITIZE
A bactericidal treatment of cleaned surfaces by a process which is effective in reducing the number of microorganisms to a safe level.
SINGLE SERVICE
Products or items that are disposed of after use on each client, including but not limited to cotton swabs or balls, tissues or paper products, paper or plastic cups, gauze and sanitary coverings, razors, needles, scalpel blades, stencils and ink cups.
STERILIZATION
Destruction of all forms of microbiotic life, including spores.
TATTOO ARTIST
One who engages in tattooing.
TATTOO, TATTOOED or TATTOOING
Any method of placing designs, letters, scrolls, figures, symbols or any marks upon or beneath the skin with ink or any other substance resulting in the marking or coloration of the skin, by the aid of needles or any other instruments designed to puncture the skin.

§ 212-2 License; application; fee; transferability.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in the business of operating an establishment where tattooing or body piercing is performed without first obtaining a license from the Borough to engage in such business in accordance with the provisions hereof.
B. 
An application for an initial license shall be made to the Borough accompanied by a fee in the amount of $200.
C. 
Application. The application shall be made, in writing, upon such printed forms as the Borough of Chester shall prescribe and prepare. Such forms may be obtained from the Borough and shall be signed by the applicant under oath and shall contain the following information:
(1) 
If an individual, the full name, age, sex and residential address at the time of application and the business address and phone number.
(2) 
If a corporation, limited liability company, or limited liability partnership, the full name of the legal entity, the date and the state of incorporation/formation, address of the place or places of the business, the name and address of the registered agent and the name, address and age of any principal owning more than ten-percent interest in the entity.
(3) 
If a partnership, the information required by Subsection C(1) above for each partner and the name under which the business is being conducted.
(4) 
The educational and/or business experience of the applicant in the business or occupation for which the license is sought.
(5) 
The length of time that the applicant has been engaged in such business or occupation.
(6) 
Proof that the applicant carries professional and general liability insurance and the amounts of such coverage and the companies providing such insurance.
(7) 
Whether the applicant and/or those with 10% or more interest in the applicant has ever been convicted of any criminal violation, the date, nature and disposition of such criminal charges, summons, complaint or indictment.
(8) 
Name, address and age of every tattoo artist and body piercer to be employed. This shall be a continuing obligation for licensees to update the list of employees with the Borough.
(9) 
Medical certificates for each tattoo artist and body piercer, as set forth hereinbelow, shall be submitted with the application.
(10) 
A copy of the certificate of occupancy approved for the location of the business shall accompany the application.
D. 
Investigation. Upon receipt of an application, the Borough shall cause to be conducted a brief inquiry by the Police Department, Construction Official and any other department or agency of the Borough of Chester or State of New Jersey to verify the accuracy of the information contained in the application. Such inquiry shall be designed to include the reputation, business responsibility, reliability, criminal background and motor vehicle license abstracts of the applicant and all persons having management or supervision. It shall further include an inquiry or investigation of the proposed location and items proposed to be sold or used in the business or enterprise.
E. 
Denial of license. The Borough may deny an application where the investigation or inquiry demonstrates that:
(1) 
The information set forth in the application is incomplete, inaccurate or fraudulent;
(2) 
The applicant or any person(s) conducting the business has been convicted of a crime or disorderly persons offense which has not been expunged or pardoned and which offense relates adversely to the business for which the license is sought. In this regard, the Borough shall be guided by N.J.S.A. 2A:168A-2;
(3) 
The applicant or any person(s) conducting the business has, within four (4) months of the application, been addicted to the habitual use of drugs or intoxicating liquors;
(4) 
The business property and location do not comply with requirements for business use, as the same are set forth by the Zoning Officer and/or other departments or agencies of the Borough of Chester.
F. 
Appeal. Any person aggrieved by denial of their application may appeal to the Mayor and Council by filing a written appeal with the Borough Clerk within 10 days of such denial. The Mayor and Council shall hold a public hearing in connection therewith within 45 days from said appeal, and shall thereafter affirm, modify or reverse the denial.
G. 
The Borough shall not issue any license until the Health Officer, or his/her designee, shall issue a certificate of inspection stating that the proposed establishment, instruments and applicant have met all applicable state, federal and municipal codes and regulations.
H. 
No license or renewal thereof granted under the provisions of this chapter shall be assignable or transferable. Any change of ownership shall require a new application and license with payment of fees.

§ 212-3 Renewal; fee; expiration; posting of license.

A. 
The renewal license fee for engaging in the business of operating an establishment subject to this chapter shall be $100. All licenses shall expire on the last day of each calendar year regardless of the date issued. All applications for renewal must be presented to the Borough in writing on forms prescribed by the Borough, within 30 days of the end of the calendar year. All establishments existing at the time of the enactment of this chapter shall apply for licensing within two months after the effective date of this chapter.
B. 
The license shall be posted conspicuously in the place of business or location named therein. All applicants shall comply with the provisions of this chapter, as well as all other applicable codes, regulations or laws. In addition, if renovations of the tattoo or body-piercing establishment occur, plans shall be submitted to the Borough for review and approval by the Board of Health and Construction Department. In the event that an applicant fails to qualify for a license under this chapter, the fee herein prescribed shall not be refunded.

§ 212-4 Minors.

A. 
It shall be a violation of this chapter for anyone or any tattoo or body-piercing business to tattoo or body pierce or to pierce the ear lobe of any individual under 18 years of age without parental consent.
B. 
The operator shall require the production of two forms of identification from the individual seeking services, one of which must be a government-issued photographic identification, proving the applicant is at least 18 years of age.
C. 
For individuals under the age of 18, a parent or court-ordered legal guardian must accompany the minor to the establishment for his/her tattoo or body piercing or ear lobe piercing. The parent or legal guardian must sign a consent form in the presence of the operator. The parent or legal guardian must also produce a government-issued photographic identification, a copy of which shall be maintained by the establishment with the other consent documentation.
D. 
The operator shall be responsible for maintaining the original authorization form and copies of all consent information and identification documentation for a period of two years beyond the recipient's 21st birthday.

§ 212-5 Recordkeeping.

A. 
Each person wishing to receive a tattoo or body piercing must first apply to the operator on a form approved by the Borough. A tattoo or body pierce may then be applied no sooner than one hour after the time the application is received by the tattoo artist or body piercer.
B. 
Information required for each applicant shall include the name, age, sex, date of birth, address and telephone number of the applicant. The name of the person who did the tattoo or body piercing, the design, location, ink lot number(s) of the tattoo, the type of body piercing done, and the date of service shall be documented for each client.
C. 
All records and copies of identification regarding tattoos or body piercing are to be maintained for a minimum of two years. In the case of minors, the information shall be maintained for a period of two years beyond the recipient's 2lst birthday.
D. 
The name, address and telephone number of the establishment must be on the heading of all waivers, care sheets, consents and other forms utilized by the establishment.
E. 
At such time when the establishment ceases doing business or is removed from the Borough or changes its name or has a change in management or ownership, all such records shall be turned over to the Borough.

§ 212-6 Sanitary requirements.

A. 
Each tattoo or body-piercing facility shall have a bathroom accessible to the public and staff. Each bathroom will be equipped with a commode and a sink, with the sink being connected to hot and cold running water. Soap and sanitary towels, or other approved hand-drying devices, shall be available at the sink at all times. Common towels are prohibited. In addition to the above, each tattooing or body-piercing cubicle or work station must be provided with a sink connected to hot and cold running water. This area shall also be supplied with soap and appropriate hand drying facilities. Employee handwashing signs shall be posted in each bathroom.
B. 
The chair or seat reserved for the person receiving the tattoo or body piercing shall be made of a material that is smooth and easily cleanable and constructed of material that is nonabsorbent. Any surface on the chair that becomes exposed to blood or body fluids must be cleaned and sanitized prior to use by the next customer. The work table or counter used by the tattoo artist or body piercer shall be smooth and easily cleanable and constructed of material that is nonabsorbent. This table/counter must be cleaned and sanitized between customers, utilizing a method approved by the Board of Health. The walls and ceilings in the tattooing or body-piercing area shall be light-colored, smooth and easily cleanable and constructed of a nonabsorbent material. Walls and ceilings shall be kept clean at all times. The floor in the tattooing or body-piercing area shall be of durable material that is nonabsorbent and is smooth and easily cleanable. Floors shall be kept clean at all times. Adequate light and ventilation shall be provided. The work areas reserved for the application of the tattoo or body piercing shall be separated from each other and from other areas of the establishment by walls or durable partitions extending at least six feet in height and so designed to discourage any persons other than the customer and the tattoo artist or body piercer from being in the work area. Any surfaces in the establishment that become exposed to blood or body fluids must be cleaned and sanitized, utilizing a method approved by the Borough's Board of Health. Products used in the cleaning, sanitizing and sterilizing procedures must be clearly marked and stored in an acceptable manner. Smaller working containers filled on site from larger containers must be clearly marked with the name of the product. Proper waste receptacles shall be provided and waste shall be disposed of at appropriate intervals.
C. 
The use of tobacco in any form while engaged in tattooing and/or body-piercing procedures is prohibited. The use of tobacco shall be restricted to areas physically removed from the tattoo/body-piercing work areas. The consumption of food or drink shall be prohibited in the tattoo/body-piercing work areas of the establishment.
D. 
Only articles considered necessary to the routine operation and maintenance of the tattoo/body-piercing workroom operation shall be permitted in the establishment.
E. 
No live bird, turtle, snake, dog, cat or other animal shall be permitted in any area used for the conduct of tattooing and/or body-piercing operations or in the immediate open, adjacent areas, including the main waiting area and the public access to the toilet room, with the exception of animals utilized for the assistance of the blind and/or deaf.
F. 
Effective measures shall be taken to protect against the entry of insects and rodents onto the premises.
(1) 
Anyone using pesticides must be certified and licensed by the State of New Jersey for application of the same.
(2) 
The use of pesticides shall not result in the contamination of dyes, inks, ink reservoirs, needles, jewelry or gloves or any equipment used in connection with the operation.
G. 
No person having any skin infection or other diseases of the skin or any communicable disease shall be tattooed or have body piercing performed.
H. 
All areas of the establishment are to be accessible for inspection by the Borough officials, including but not limited to the Board of Health and its authorized representatives.

§ 212-7 Tattoo artist or body piercer.

A. 
Every person engaged in the practice of tattooing or body piercing shall annually, first with the initial application and then with all renewal applications, submit a medical certificate to the Borough, signed by a physician duly licensed to practice medicine in the State of New Jersey, stating that the prospective licensee is free from all contagious or communicable diseases or conditions which may jeopardize the health of clients and shall submit proof to the Borough that he or she has been vaccinated for hepatitis B and has had a PPD skin test for tuberculosis.
B. 
The operator shall not allow any new hires to commence working as a tattoo artist or body piercer until such person is properly registered with the Borough and a medical certificate required by Subsection A above is on file with the Borough pursuant to this chapter.
C. 
The operator shall develop operating guidelines that will prevent accidental needle sticks and establish a monitoring system for those persons accidentally stuck by a needle. The guidelines shall be submitted to the Board of Health for approval prior to the issuance of a license and subsequent renewals of license.
D. 
All tattoo artists and body piercers shall be trained and have a working knowledge of sterile techniques and universal precautions to assure that infection and contagious diseases shall not be spread by tattooing practices. Such training shall be documented in the personnel files which shall be accessible to the Borough officials for review.
E. 
Before working on each client, each tattoo artist or body piercer shall scrub and wash his/her hands thoroughly with hot water and antiseptic soap using his/her individual hand brush. Fingernails shall be kept clean and short.
F. 
Disposable vinyl or latex gloves shall be worn by the tattoo artist or body piercer during tattoo/piercing preparation and application to prevent contact with blood or body fluids. Hands shall be washed immediately after removal of gloves. Any skin surface that has contact with blood shall be washed immediately.
G. 
Universal precautions described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) shall be followed.
H. 
Immediately after tattooing or body piercing a client, the tattooist or body piercer shall advise the client on the care of the tattoo or body piercing in verbal and written form and shall instruct the client to consult a physician at the first sign of infection of the tattoo or body piercing. Printed instructions regarding these points shall be given to each client, and a copy of the instructions signed by the client shall be kept on file in the establishment. The printed instructions shall at a minimum specify:
(1) 
Responsibilities and care specific to the site of the tattooing following service.
(2) 
Possible side effects.
(3) 
Restrictions.
I. 
All infections resulting from the practice of tattooing or body piercing which become known to the operator shall be promptly reported to the Borough by the person owning or operating the tattoo or body piercing establishment or by the tattoo artist or body piercer.

§ 212-8 Skin preparation.

A. 
Tattooing or body piercing shall be done only on normal, healthy skin surface that is free of moles, infections, rashes, pimples, boils, scar tissue or other unhealthy condition.
B. 
Only safety razors with disposable blades shall be used for the skin preparation. Blades shall be properly disposed of after each use, and new blades shall be used for each client.
C. 
Following shaving, the area shall be thoroughly cleansed and scrubbed with tincture of green soap or its equivalent and warm water. Before placing the design or body piercing on the client's skin, the area shall be treated with seventy-percent alcohol and allowed to air dry. Piercing of mucous membranes (i.e., oral, nasal, vaginal, etc.) shall be treated with an industry-appropriate and medically indicated antiseptic solution prior to the procedure.
D. 
Only petroleum jelly (U.S.P. or National Formulary) or antiseptic ointment shall be applied to the tattoo area prior to tattooing or body piercing. The ointment shall be applied in a sanitary manner, disposing of the utensil after spreading. All ointments shall be single use foil packs.

§ 212-9 Tattooing or body piercing.

A. 
The use of single service hectographic stencils shall be required for applying a tattoo outline to the skin. Multiuse stencils shall be prohibited.
B. 
Only nontoxic dyes or pigments purchased from reputable tattoo suppliers may be used. No homemade dye may be used. Products shall not contain talc. Premixed sterile materials are preferred. Premixed dyes shall be used without adulteration of the manufacturer's original formula. Dyes shall be nonirritating to tissue, stable to light and inert to tissue metabolism. It shall be the responsibility of the operator to provide certification to the Borough of the nontoxicity of the dyes or inks at the time of license application and renewal.
C. 
Single-service or individual containers of dye or ink shall be used for each client and the container disposed of immediately after completing work on each client.
D. 
The completed tattoo shall be washed with single-use sterile gauze and a solution of tincture of green soap or its equivalent, and then disinfected with seventy-percent alcohol. The area shall be allowed to air dry and antiseptic ointment shall be applied and spread with sterile gauze and sterile dressing attached.
E. 
Upon completion of piercing of the mucous membranes, the area shall be disinfected with industry-appropriate and medically indicated solutions.

§ 212-10 Needles and instruments; sterilization.

A. 
Only single-service sterilized needles and needle bars shall be used for each client and shall be disposed of in accordance with applicable laws.
B. 
If solder is used in manufacturing needles, needle bars or needle tubes, it must be free of lead.
C. 
Any needle that penetrates the skin of the tattoo artist or body piercer shall be immediately disposed of in accordance with applicable law.
D. 
Needle tubes shall be soaked with soapy water, then scrubbed with a clean brush, then rinsed clean. Needle tubes shall be sterilized in accordance with Subsection E below, stored in sterile bags and maintained in a dry, closed area in a manner to prevent subsequent contamination.
E. 
All instruments used in connection with the preparation for or process of tattooing or body piercing shall be sterilized by a sterilizer (autoclave) before each use. The sterilizer shall be well maintained with a tight-fitting gasket and clean interior. The manufacturer's operating instructions and sterilization specifications shall be at hand. The sterilizer shall conform to the manufacturer's specifications with regard to temperature, pressure and time of sterilization cycle. Proper functioning of sterilization cycles shall be verified by the weekly use of biologic indicators (i.e., spore tests). A log book of these weekly test results shall be maintained and made available for inspection, and a test may be required to be done during any inspections.
F. 
If the primary source of sterilization malfunctions, the Borough shall be notified within 24 hours.

§ 212-11 Disposal of waste.

All used needles, needle bars or other tools used in the tattooing process, as well as gloves, gauze and other materials contaminated with blood or body fluids, shall be removed through the use of a licensed medical waste hauler in accordance with applicable law. All establishments shall manage contaminated (body fluids) contact waste materials as medical waste pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:26-3A.8. All establishments shall be licensed with the State of New Jersey as a medical waste generator, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:26-3A.8 prior to approval from the Borough.

§ 212-12 Prohibitions.

The following prohibitions apply to all operators and establishments covered by this chapter:
A. 
Body branding and/or scarification shall not be performed.
B. 
Implants under the skin shall not be performed.
C. 
No person shall perform genital piercing upon a person under 18 years of age regardless of parental consent.
D. 
Operators shall refuse service to any person who, in the opinion of the operator, is suspected to be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any other behavior-modifying substance.
E. 
No person shall display a sign or in any way advertise or purport to be a tattoo artist or body piercer or to be engaged in the business of tattooing or body piercing without first obtaining a license for the facility as provided herein.

§ 212-13 Representation of endorsement.

No person or operator of any establishment shall state, represent, warrant or imply to customers, potential customers or the public at large that the tattooing and body piercing establishment is endorsed or its operations approved by the Borough of Chester.

§ 212-14 Violations and penalties; enforcement.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or community service not exceeding 90 days, or any combination thereof for each violation as set forth in § 1-17 of the Borough Code. Each day that the violation exists is considered to be a separate offense. Reasonable counsel fees incurred by the Borough of Chester in the enforcement of this chapter shall be paid by the defendant. The amount of such reimbursable fees and costs shall be determined by the court hearing the matter. After due notice and hearing, the Board may suspend or revoke any license issued under this chapter for violation of the provisions herein.