Can Eliminating Pockets Stop Workers From Stealing?

Ces shirt pocket

Have a problem with theft in your company?
You could try jumping on the workwear trend called “cleanroom style” and eliminate pockets on your employees’ uniforms, reports Elizabeth Williamson at The Wall Street Journal.

This was exactly what international security experts recommended when a string of “casual theft” of bomb-making materials occurred in
nuclear facilities earlier this year.

In recent years, the cleanroom style has been popular in high-tech, electronics, automotive, casino, and pharmaceutical industries, according to WSJ. Employees who regularly handle cash, such as tollbooth operators and transit workers, rarely have pockets on their clothing.

Connecticut’s new medical marijuana law requires that everyone who works in a weed facility go pocketless — even receptionists. After all, it would be problematic if a worker accidentally placed a handful of marijuana in their pocket while handling a call.

Not surprisingly, some workers are resistant to losing a convenient feature that’s been part of standard clothing for centuries. Perhaps they feel a bit like Jonathan Frakes, the actor who played Commander William T. Riker on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” who complained on NPR about the lack of pockets on the series’ uniforms:

“I hated my uniform … it was skintight, it made you sweat and … why were there no pockets? How do you work with no pockets in the 24th century?” he said. “You stood around the whole time with no pockets … You couldn’t put your hands in your pockets, which is a great acting choice, tried and true for 100 years.”

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