Industrial robot crushes and kills VW contractor

Occurred: July 2015

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A contractor at a VW plant north of Frankfurt installing an industrial robot was grabbed and crushed against a metal plate, killing him. The man had been resuscitated at the factory but died later in hospital.

VW said the intial conclusions of its investigation into the incident had suggested that human error was to blame. The robotic line being assembled had not been formally handed over to Volkswagen, according to the car manufacturer.

VW also said the robot usually operates within a confined area at the plant, grabbing auto parts and manipulating them.

The incident prompted unions and others to express their concerns about the safety dangers of industrial robots.

Operator: Volkswagen
Developer: Unclear/unknown

Country: Germany

Sector: Automotive; Manufacturing/engineering

Purpose: Configure auto parts

Technology: Robotics
Issue: Safety; Liability


Page info
Type: Incident
Published: March 2023