If welding is dangerous for males in the eyes of some, what are the potential hazards for women who decide to enter this line of work?
According to a report from The Edmonton Journal, a study from Finland three years ago suggests babies of women and their male partners, if either worked as welders, were born small for the gestation period or premature, much like findings usually noted with mothers who smoked while pregnant. The study, however, was not definitive due to the fact it looked at the birth of only 13 babies. (WCxKit)
Given that information, the Canadian Standards Association’s (CSA) safety committee has asked a pair of University of Alberta professors in occupational medicine to do the research. Their project is called the
Numbers show there are 1,800 women working in these untraditional trades in Alberta and lead researchers Nicola Cherry, who heads the occupational medicine program at the U of A and Jeremy Beach, want as many of them as possible to take part in the study.
The researchers will follow the women for at least two years, keeping an eye on their health and searching for any effects possibly tied to their work, including pregnancy problems, according to Cherry.
The women who have so far signed up for the study, ranging from 18 to 60 years of age, have noted concerns regarding what their trades jobs are doing to their health.
For example, welders of both sexes, can develop respiratory problems and metal-fume fever (similar to the flu), and arc welders can have issues with their eyes and skin. (WCxKit)
The U of A study will provide another source of information, that when all are compiled, will allow more informed decisions about what if any health hazards are tied to the job women are doing in metalworking and electrical trades.
Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
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