Woman injured during pedicure calls for tougher spa rules

A Calgary woman is questioning the safety of spas after she was injured during a pedicure.

Southeast Calgary business has been the subject of earlier complaints

The tool that was used on Jennifer Jackson's heel. (Jen Lee/CBC)

A Calgary woman is questioning the safety of spas after she was injured during a pedicure.

Jennifer Jackson was at a spa in southeast Calgary last month when the nail technician accidentally cut her heel with a blade designed to remove calluses, she said.

"And the next day when I checked the wound I was shocked — I didn't realize it was that bad or that deep. It was angry and red looking, very painful."

Jackson, who is 21 weeks pregnant, went to an emergency room where she was given a tetanus shot and a round of antibiotics.

A woman who had a pedicure at this southeast Calgary spa came away with a badly injured heel. (CBC)

It turns out Alberta Health Services has received four complaints about the same spa in the last two years, citing problems with disinfection and reuse of tools that should only be used once — news that angered Jackson.

"We are dealing with people's health and safety and I cannot believe AHS has had four similar complaints yet it still continues to operate as a business," she said.

Jackson said she didn't see anyone at the salon disinfect her foot bath before using it for someone else.

Training concerns raised

"That's a big concern and definitely one that we're going to follow up on and approach through education, inspection and enforcement if necessary," said AHS spokeswoman Lynne Navratil.

  • Listen to Navratil's full interview on the Calgary Eyeopener:

Wendy Armstrong, with the Alberta Consumers’ Association, said she is also concerned.

Jennifer Jackson suffered an injured heel at a southeast Calgary spa. She took this photo the day after her pedicure. (Submitted by Jennifer Jackson)

"It raises a lot of questions I think about the training and the oversight of workers in these establishments over time," she said.

There are no educational requirements for nail technicians in Alberta. AHS said spas go through between one and three routine inspections per year.

CBC News contacted both the owner and the manager of Jack's Classic Nails and Spa in McKenzie Towne several times.

Both refused interviews but said Jackson was cut when she moved unexpectedly during the pedicure.

Jackson denied that claim.