Ajin USA worker crushed to death by robot
Occurred: June 2016
Regina Allen Elsea was killed when a robot she had been trying to fix at auto parts manufacturer Ajin USA restarted and crushed her.
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 armm 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.
Operator: Ajin USA
Sector: Automotive; Manufacturing/engineering
USA v Joon LLC/Ajin USA (2020). Plea Agreement
US Department of Justice (2020). Auto-Parts Manufacturing Company Sentenced in Worker Death Case
US Department of Labor (2016). Alabama Auto Parts Supplier to Kia and Hyundai, Staffing Agencies Face USD 2.5 million in Fines After Robot Crushes Young Bride-to-Be
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Published: March 2023