Robot kills worker at Volkswagen plant (July 1, 2015)

This incident emphasizes the need to enforce safe work practices for employees entering robot cells to perform setup type activities. A risk assessment for each robot cell should be performed according to the recommendations specified in ANSI/RIA R15.06-2012: Industrial Robots and Robot Systems – Safety Requirements.

BERLIN (AP) — A robot has killed a contractor at one of Volkswagen’s production plants in Germany, the automaker said Wednesday. The man died Monday at the plant in Baunatal, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Frankfurt, VW spokesman Heiko Hillwig said. The 22-year-old was part of a team that was setting up the stationary robot when it grabbed and crushed him against a metal plate, Hillwig said. He said initial conclusions indicate that human error was to blame, rather than a problem with the robot, which can be programmed to perform various tasks in the assembly process. He said it normally operates within a confined area at the plant, grabbing auto parts and manipulating them.

Jon

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