Dustbin operative Lee Moran has criticised the banning of wearing shorts in the UK – despite record-breaking temperatures of 40 degrees sweeping the country.
So much so – he donned a kilt, fashioned from hi-vis ballistic cargo trousers.
A solo protest was made by Lee, after discovering there was nothing in City of York Council’s policies on wearing a kilt: “This is only meant to be a small protest – in relation to the shorts situation.
“I’m not just doing it for waste operatives, but for other outdoor council workers, such as gardeners and highways staff.”
Lee, who does bin rounds in York and works at the Hazel Court Household Waste Recycling Centre in the city, said: “Five years ago I was on a bin collection round and I was very hot.
“I had my trousers rolled up and was wearing a hi-vis vest. Someone from the council rang my manager and was told I couldn’t do the job dressed like that.
Summer battle to keep cool
“Since then every summer it’s been a constant battle with management to review their policies, regarding wearing shorts in hot weather.”
He said he was told the ban is due to health and safety, but alleged bosses have not taken workers’ wellbeing into consideration during record high temperatures in July.
There is no legally defined maximum or minimum temperature for outside or indoors working, but employers are legally obliged to carry out workplace risk assessments to make sure temperatures are at a comfortable level.
According to Health and Safety Executive guidance, employers should ensure staff can access water and monitor employees’ health in hot conditions.
“It’s a ridiculous situation. We are wearing ballistic cargo trousers, the same issued to us in the winter.
“They are heavy, sweaty and in a lot of cases ill-fitting, causing chafing and rashes.
“I do understand that in certain circumstances shorts are not appropriate, due to risk of glass, needles and other sharp objects.
“But we feel that the council are living in the past.”
The Council, who said they are not sure a kilt will necessarily be the right option for their staff, is reviewing all its operations in extreme weather with its health and safety team.
*A cleaning operative died of heatstroke in Spain this summer, as reported in The Leader.
Caption: Lee wearing a kilt, fashioned from hi-vis ballistic cargo trousers.