SCORCHIO! That was how BBC weather girl Carol Kirkwood described the UK’s hottest day of the year.
Yet trucker Graeme Woods had another word for it – SHORTIO – after he says he was docked a day’s pay for trying to keep cool.
The 40-year-old claimed he was sent home yesterday because he turned up for work in shorts as the temperature in Preston soared above 30C.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said agency driver Graeme who was scheduled to do a shift for Montgomery Transport at Walton Summit.
“The manager refused to let me take the lorry out because I had shorts on.
“He said it was health and safety. But I’ve never heard that. And if it is then it’s health and safety gone mad.”
Graeme was left boiling on the day the UK sizzled in temperatures topping some Mediterranean hotspots.
“It’s pretty uncomfortable to be in a lorry cab for hours on end when it’s hot and sticky,” said Graeme of New Hall Lane, Preston.
“Most have air conditioning, but it still isn’t great.
“Monday was bad enough. But when they said Tuesday was going to be even hotter – in fact the hottest day of the year – I decided to put some shorts on to try and stay comfortable.
“I take pride in my appearance when I’m working and there’s no way I would go out looking scruffy. But the man at Montgomery was having none of it. No trousers, no work.
“I drove home to get changed into my normal work pants, intending to go back. But my agency told me the firm had rung them and said they didn’t want me back, ever again. I’m staggered.
“I’ve never heard of the rule before in terms of it being a health and safety issue. On a day like yesterday it’s more likely to be a health risk wearing trousers rather than shorts.
“I’ve asked around other drivers and none of them had heard of it. And I’ve looked online to try and find out what the law says, but again I can’t find anything, even on the Government’s website, saying the wearing of shorts while you are driving a lorry is not allowed.
“It would seem some companies allow it and others don’t. It sounds to me like it’s just down to company policy.”
Graeme missed out on a day’s pay because of the ruling and his agency managed to get him back out on the road today, with another firm.
“I’m all for safe practices in our industry, but I’m sorry, I don’t get this one,” he added.
We approached Montgomery Transport for a comment, but the company declined our request.