Binman wears high-vis kilt to work after bosses ban shorts

15 July 2022, 12:49

Lee decided to take things into his own hands after his bosses told him he could not wear shorts to work amid the heatwave
Lee decided to take things into his own hands after his bosses told him he could not wear shorts to work amid the heatwave. Picture: SWNS
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

The binman has been campaigning for shorts to be allowed as part of their uniform during the summer months.

With a red weather warning in place for parts of the UK next week, everyone is trying their best to keep cool while working.

One man, however, has taken things into his own hands after he was told by bosses he could not wear shorts to his job where he works as a binman.

Lee Moran, 40, works for York City Council and decided to rock up to work on Monday in a high-vis kilt after his bosses told him he was not allowed to wear shorts amid the soaring temperatures.

The father-of-three, who has been campaigning for shorts to be allowed for years, was told that they would pose a health and safety issue.

York City Council has told Lee for years that he can not wear shorts for health and safety reasons
York City Council has told Lee for years that he can not wear shorts for health and safety reasons. Picture: SWNS

However, after doing some research and finding out this was not true, Lee decided to make a point by arriving at work in a kilt.

This was after – in a bizarre twist – one of his managers said that kilts were allowed.

The binman claims his managers confessed they’d actually prevented binmen from wearing shorts to protect their 'public image'.

Since his story went viral, Lee has said that the response to his protest has been "absolutely amazing", and that he is hoping to convince York City Council to change their minds on the rule.

The binman said people's reactions to the kilt were amazing, with many members of the local area agreeing with him that shorts should be allowed
The binman said people's reactions to the kilt were amazing, with many members of the local area agreeing with him that shorts should be allowed. Picture: SWNS

“For the last five years, I’ve been asking about wearing shorts, and they’ve just slung health and safety at me left right and centre", Lee explained: "But one of the managers approached me and said 'look, Lee, you can wear a kilt. There’s nothing about wearing a kilt'."

He continued: “So I waited until the temperature reached over 25c, and Monday was the perfect opportunity for it.

“The public response has been absolutely amazing, and I’ve even had some City of York councillors ring me and message me saying, 'We’re right behind you.'"

Lee is hoping the City Council will change the rules before temperatures rise even higher next week
Lee is hoping the City Council will change the rules before temperatures rise even higher next week. Picture: SWNS

Lee also explained that he trusted his managers when they told him he could not wear shorts to work due to health and safety policies.

However, he went on to explain: “This year, I decided to have a look online. I’ve looked at the health and safety laws, and there are no laws regarding binmen wearing shorts.

“It’s up to our managers and health and safety at work. So I just put it forward to the managers, ‘Why are you using health and safety as an excuse when basically, it’s just public image?’"

Lee continued: “One of the managers then admitted it was basically due to ‘reputation’, so I said, ‘We’re sweating, doing hard work in the sun just to look good for the public?’

“I said, ‘It’s alright saying ‘health and safety’ but you’re not taking our well-being into consideration at the same time. We’re sweating in these trousers, we’re at risk of collapse.’”

On Monday, Lee turned up to work with his normal uniform on and waited for his manager to call the driver to check he was wearing the correct attire.

As soon as the call ended, Lee changed into the kilt and worked the entire day in it.

Lee said that he had lots of questions from members of the public about his kilt, to which he simply explained the situation.

He said that everyone was sympathetic, with most replying: "That’s ridiculous, I can’t believe they won’t let you wear shorts".

With temperatures set to reach potentially 40 degrees next week, and with councils close to York allowing their binmen to wear shorts, Lee is hopeful his bosses will change their minds on the policy.

Lee explained: “We’re saying we need this now – we don’t want to be waiting another week, it’s going to be red hot next week.

“They said, ‘these things take time’, but we haven’t got time. The weather isn’t going to wait for us.”