Cic edizioni internazionali
Prevention and Research

Case report of an occupational electrocution fatality: histopathological, medicolegal, work safety and insurance implications

Case report, 12 - 15
doi: 10.11138/PER/2017.6.2.012
Tag this article
Abstract
Enhanced HTML Full text PDF
When the skin comes to contact with power lines or non-insulated electrical instruments, we have an effect called electrocution. This often occurs in workplace settings.
We report the case of a young man, bricklayer in a yard, that was found unresponsive from his coworker.
Witnesses referred that he was working with an electric arc-welding machine. The external examination performed by a physician, not a forensic one, concluded for a natural death.
A private exhumation performed on the body after two months by a forensic physician found a skin lesion on the left leg that resembled to an electrical mark so the death was classified as an occupational death. Unfortunately, the Italian national worker’s insurance company (INAIL) refused the allowance to the family and so the attorney asked us for a definitely opinion.
We weren’t able to have a new exhumation but we had the paraffin embedded samples collected during the private autopsy. On these slides, we performed the metallization, choosing the traditional Okamoto-Utamura method. This staining was positive for the presence of copper in the skin: we could conclude the man died for working electrocution.
The case stresses the importance of having forensic pathologists on the scene and of performing a complete autopsy in every case of death happened on a work place, especially if the deceased is very young.
Moreover, we confirm, according to pathological literature, that the electrical mark is detectable in exhumed bodies.

Vol. 6 (No. 3) 2017 July - September

  1. Occupational Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Health effects
    Di Marzio A., Chighine A., Sacco C., Tomei F., Sancini A., Scialfa Chinnici V., Buomprisco G., Ricci S.
Last Viewed articles: la lista degli ultimi x visitati.
  1. Case report of an occupational electrocution fatality: histopathological, medicolegal, work safety and insurance implications
    Sammicheli M., Luchini D., Scaglione M., Salemmi O.
    doi: 10.11138/PER/2017.6.2.012
credits