Ajin USA worker crushed to death by robot

Occurred: June 2016

A worker was killed when a robot she had been trying to fix at auto parts manufacturer Ajin USA unexpectedly restarted and crushed her. 

Regina Allen Elsea had entered a robotic station ('cell') containing several robots to clear a sensor fault on a piece of machinery that had stopped working during an assembly line stoppage. When inside the cell, one of the robots energised and she was struck by a robotic arm which pinned her against a piece of machinery.

In November 2020, Ajin USA was ordered to pay USD 1.5 million after admitting violating federal safety standards before Elsea was crushed to death. It also had to complete three years of probation, during which it must comply with a safety compliance plan overseen by a third-party auditor.

Ajin pleaded guilty to knowingly failing to enforce federal safety standards, including the mandatory use of so-called lockout/tagout procedures to prevent the type of incident that killed Elsea. 

Two weeks before Elsea's death, the US Labor Department fined Ajin USA and two staffing agencies USD 2.5 million for 27 safety violations. 

System 🤖

Operator: Ajin USA
Country: USA
Sector: Automotive; Manufacturing/engineering
Purpose: Unclear/unknown
Technology: Robotics
Issue: Safety
Transparency: Legal

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: March 2023