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Workers who took off safety clothing take Amey to court

NEWS

THREE road workers who were sacked for removing their protective clothing on a hot day are taking Amey Lafarge to a tribunal claiming unfair dismissal.

Ian Paterson, 41, Jason Welch, 34, and Luke Witherington, 26, lost their jobs with the contractor after they were photographed by a safety inspector.

They were snapped without their hard hats and reflective jackets when temperatures hit 27.2 deg C on August 6 as they put up railings at the side of White Horse Street, Baldock, in Hertfordshire.

They were sacked for gross misconduct a week later.

They admit breaking the company's health and safety rules but said Amey Lafarge broke its own rules by not following correct disciplinary procedures.

Mr Paterson, who worked for the company for 16 years, said he did not believe their actions were a sackable offence.

He claimed their dismissal was a 'kneejerk reaction'by the company to prevent it getting into more trouble with the Health and Safety Executive.

Mr Paterson said: 'The thing that gets our goat is that even though we admit we didn't follow correct procedures in wearing our protective gear, they have also got disciplinary procedures which they haven't followed.'

The company said it had a very strict policy on workers wearing personal protective clothing and took health and safety requirements seriously.

An Amey Lafarge joint venture has an alliance with Hertfordshire County Council to carry out all its highways maintenance work in a deal worth up to £450 million.