Drop your shorts!

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COUNCIL bosses have clamped down on their gardeners wearing shorts at work.

If it is a hot summer, gardeners wanting to wear shorts will have to ask permission from a manager.

The health and safety ruling is designed to protect staff. Council official Andrew Pitts said the council took health and safety seriously and advised all such staff to wear trousers. He said: “Some of their tasks involve emptying bins, picking up broken glass and needles, working with sharp shrubbery and removing fly tipping.

“Gardeners working at Manor Heath, Halifax, experience extreme temperatures and can choose to wear shorts when carrying out duties in the polytunnels.

“But they are advised to wear trousers when working in the park. Employees wishing to wear shorts can put this request to their manager who will consider each case.”

Nick Yates, MD of Kershaw’s Garden Centre, Brighouse, and a former councillor, said gardeners needed to wear protective clothing at times – such as when spraying chemicals – but a blanket ruling was over-protective.

He said: “There are lots of jobs gardeners can do in shorts and you take precautions where necessary.

“The ban seems a bit ridiculous. There is too much of this rule-making going on. If gardeners are hoeing or planting out, why not allow them to wear shorts?”

Councillor Pauline Nash, cabinet spokeswoman for safer communities, said the ruling allowed an individual to request permission to wear shorts.

“My view of health and safety is that it is better to be safe than sorry,” she said. “It’s about trying to minimise accidents.”