The Alex Ferry Foundation has agreed to sponsor 10 welding fume conferences across the UK.  The first of these was held in Glasgow on the 24th October.  The event was extremely well attended, with over 140 trade union delegates, managers and industry representatives hearing about the hazards of welding fumes.  The conference discussed methods of dealing with these carcinogenic fumes and the difficulties of diagnosing cancers caused by them, as the symptoms are similar to diseases caused by smoking or alcohol.

 

We will be liaising with the CSEU and its affiliates to organise follow-up conferences across the rest of the country, but the initial event has raised some important issues.  There is clearly an issue to be dealt with in accurate diagnosis and GPs generally do not ask questions about a patient’s occupational exposure to welding fumes.  This needs to be addressed so that more accurate assessments can be made about how widespread welding fume cancers are, leading to possible legal action by those who have been affected.

 

If the rest of the conferences follow the same pattern, then we have identified a major cause of concern for workers within our footprint and thus a potential campaign for justice for the workers and their families who have been affected.