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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 54-57

Fatal traumatic slicing injuries of the chest: An industrial death and safety concerns

Department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Francis A Faduyile
Department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajt.ajt_16_16

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A 36-year-old male truck driver of a mattress manufacturing company in Lagos was allegedly found dead on the rotary conveyor belt of a foam slicing machine in the factory. A visit to the scene of the event including examination of the conveyor belt and interrogation of the industrial nurse and chief security officer was made. Postmortem examination revealed single transverse incised wound on the chest, left and the right arms. Internal examination revealed incision on the 6th rib anteriorly, right hemothorax and a linear incision on the base of the left ventricle. Other findings included incision on the liver, the left hemidiaphragm, and hemoperitoneum. Death was ascribed to multiple injuries following sharp force trauma to the chest and abdomen in an industrial accident. Due to lack of toxicological facilities, blood level analysis of alcohol, other intoxicants, or substance abuse could not be checked for. This would have ruled out alcohol intoxication, substance abuse, or drug overdose. Suicide was ruled out judging from the decedent's medical and social history. The manner of death, in this case, was in our opinion accidental. This case has brought to the fore one of many occurrences of industrial deaths following inadequacy of safety measures and equipment in the company. There has never been a situation where culpable individual in charge of safety is brought to book in this environment. It has also highlighted the problems that could be faced by forensic pathologist in deciding manner of death in this type of situation.

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