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Workplace Health and SafetyMay 4, 2015
A BHP truck driver has been dismissed after he refused to shave off his 10cm goatee. James Felton, a 51-year-old man from Adelaide, disobeyed managerial requests to shave off his goatee and abide by the companies ‘clean shaven’ policy. Felton’s defense was that his facial hair was a personal attribute and he declined the request to shave.
The clean shaven policy was implemented to protect miners from ‘carcinogenic diesel fumes and other dangerous gases in the mine’. The depth of the mine is 720 metres and as a safety precaution all employees must wear a respirator face mask. Felton’s facial hair jeopardised his safety whist at work because his mask could not be worn effectively. Felton had been growing his facial hair since the age of 19 and out of the 2700 workers he was the only employee to disobey the policy.
Fair Work Commissioner Peter Hampton dismissed Felton’s unfair dismissal claim finding that ‘Felton’s refusal to shave conflicted with the company’s legal obligations’.
The safety and wellbeing of all employees is paramount in every workplace. If you are an employer and would like to ensure that you are confidently meeting all health and safety requirements, call Employsure on 1300 651 415. Employsure’s Health and Safety Consultants are available to inspect your workplace and aid your business by implementing health and safety policies to ensure that your staff are safe while at work.
Source: Daily Mail Australia