The UK is set to escape an EU tan ban which could have consigned the bare-chested British builder to the history books.
Liz Lynne, Liberal Democrat MEP for the West Midlands, expressed delight that the EU's Employment and Social Affairs Committee had agreed a compromise allowing member states to decide whether or not to introduce the anti-sun legislation.
The Euro-MP, a shadow rapporteur for the Optical Radiation Directive who helped to negotiate the change, said: "This is a victory for common sense.
"It is no business of the EU to decide whether workers can wear shorts and be bare-chested.
"I wanted to take natural radiation out of the directive completely, but we now have the next best thing, leaving it up to member states."
The MEP described the directive as a perfectly reasonable attempt to protect workers from artificial radiation, but admitted it could have been ruined by the " ridiculous and ludicrous" proposal to legislate on sunlight.
She said: "All people should be made aware of the dangers of the sun, but to tell employers to do this is taking the nanny knows best mentality too far."
The directive will now be voted on by the European Parliament in September and the decision by the Employment and Social Affairs Committee could be reversed.
The MEP warned last month that the legislation could outlaw the familiar sight of topless workers toiling at the roadside and on building sites.
A spokeswoman for Balfour Beatty, one of the UK's leading construction companies, said she did not think the legislation would affect the company's workers if it was brought in because they already had stringent health and safety procedures in place.
Majorie Hooper, group media relations manager, said the company also offered its workers advice on protecting themselves from the sun while working outside.
She added: "We talk to our workers regularly to advise them to wear tops at all times. No one is allowed on site without high visibility jackets anyway and we advise them to wear clothing underneath these jackets.
"We do not allow our workers to wear shorts and advise all our workers to wear suncream, hard hats, and to drink plenty of water.
"The legislation should not affect us as we ask all our workers to be fully clothed anyway and we always give advice for employers covering sun protection."
Kurt Calder, a spokesman for the Construction Confederation, said that it was both the employers' and employees' responsibility to ensure a safe working environment.
He said: "It is a difficult thing to legislate, especially with different climate conditions across Europe.
"Responsible employers will give guidance and advice in order to make workers aware of the safe way to work and employees have to take personal responsibilities."