Work-to-rule threat after shorts ban for binmen

Binmen in Dunfermline, Scotland, have threatened to work to rule after being banned from wearing shorts in hot weather while at work.

The refuse collectors had previously been able to abandon their long trousers on hot summer days, but Fife Council has insisted the wearing of shorts raises serious health and safety concerns.

Head of environmental services Fraser Thomson told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “Binmen can suffer from cuts and grazes, insect bites and dog bites. This is just an added safety measure for the men.

“They could also suffer sun damage which could lead to serious problems such as skin cancer. The risk of wearing shorts is too great.”

He said the local authority had undertaken a risk assessment taking account of guidance from the Health & Safety Executive. The council is also willing to meet with union representatives.

Unison has asked the binmen not to instigate a proposed work-to-rule until further discussions take place.

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