Barmaids’ bosoms remain exposed, for now

European Parliament votes against clause that would make employers responsible for protecting workers from skin cancer-causing sunlight
||Last Updated: 11/07/2005

Exposure to ultra-violet rays in sunlight is a growing concern around the world as the incidence of skin cancer increases, but the European Union has voted against a measure that would make employers responsible for protecting employees from the hazards of sunshine.

The Optical Radiation Directive is designed to limit workers’ exposure to lasers, x-rays, welding torches and ultra-violet lamps. With the support of EU member states, the European Commission included natural radiation — sunlight — in the list of hazards.

Critics said the clause would oblige employers to make barmaids cover their cleavage, a fact that had UK and German tabloids in an uproar, and make builders wear shirts.