On 11 April 2017, the Court of Ivrea issued a revolutionary decision, recognizing for the first time the existence of a causal link between an employee's use of a mobile phone and a brain tumor that he suffered.
In this case, an employee of an Italian telecommunications company had been required to use a mobile phone for his work activities for at least 3 hours a day over the course of about 15 years. He was then diagnosed with a brain tumor. The employee brought a legal action against INAIL (the national body providing sickness benefit to people injured at work in recognition of their occupational disease) in order to obtain an economic indemnity.
After many medical and scientific examinations, it was found that the employee's oncological disease had been caused by intense and prolonged exposure to the action of electromagnetic waves emitted by the employee's mobile phone. The Court, therefore, acknowledged the existence of permanent biological damage to the employee and, consequently, ordered INAIL to pay the employee a life annuity for occupational disease.
This decision has an important effect in relation to companies' risk assessment plans. As a result, companies must ensure that they have a plan for the prevention of diseases, in accordance with art. 2087 of the Italian Civil Code and Legislative Decree no. 81/2008, as well as providing adequate information to, and training for, employees on the use of mobile phones and all instruments which emit radio frequencies.
This decision is also important because it could result in brain tumors being included in INAIL's list of recognized occupational diseases.