COMPLAINTS that refuse collectors have become “completely exhausted” doing daily rounds in the heat have forced the council to improve their working conditions.
It comes after the wife of a bin man working in the region raised several concerns in a scathing post on social media.
Angie Allan, from Dumfries, said her partner was walking behind a bin lorry whilst wearing a “bright orange nylon long sleeved shirt” for nearly eight hours a day, with rising summer temperatures and heat from the service vehicle “overpowering him”.
And Mrs Allan accused the local authority of failing to prioritise the welfare of its employees.
She said: “The driver sits in one of the brand-new bin motors that were built without air conditioning. Do the powers that sit in their air-conditioned offices care? No they don’t.
“The men are not allowed to wear t-shirts so they are not supplied. He works on a run with no access to shops so takes water which quickly turns warm in the very hot motor, do they supply the men with fresh water? Do they check they are managing in this heat? Do they even care? The answer to all is no.”
She complained that her partner often returns from shifts “bright red” with a “temperature through the roof”, adding: “That’s his routine every day in this heat and it’s getting hotter.”
A spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway Council said measures have since been put in place to improve working conditions for refuse collectors including holding “toolbox talks on working in warmer temperatures”.
They added: “Supplies of bottled water are provided. For waste collection crews, the service is looking to provide refrigerated coolers within all refuse collection vehicles for keeping drinks and food cool. “Lightweight PPE that still meets the requirements for visibility for working on the roads is provided. Following the end of task and finish working practices in 2020, all staff take breaks during the day.”