24 year old Ramji Lal from Unnao district in Uttar Pradesh who worked at SKH Metals in the Industrial Model Township, Manesar was killed when he was pierced by sharp welding sticks attached to a robot’s arm.
Lal, who was working in the robot area, accidently stepped in front of the robot. He was removed to hospital where he was declared dead. While some reports state that he was pierced in the abdomen by welding sticks attached to a pre programmed device, a news agency reported that Lal died of electric shock after coming in contact with the robot. A shop floor worker has cited that had Lal approached the robot from the front, this accident could have been avoided. 63 workers and 39 robots were on duty at the time of the accident.
The labor union has blamed the management for not taking proper precautions in ensuring that the robots were accident proof. This has resulted in company management and contractor being booked by the local police station on charges of causing death due to negligence. The union is demanding action in the form of compensation and inquiry against the management who, in their opinion, have not ensured complete safety for the use of robots.The factory supplies steel parts and accessories to the automotive plants in the region.
The incident at Manesar occurs just a month following reports of a similar incident at the Volkswagen plant in Germany where a robot grabbed a worker and slammed him against a metal plate leading to his death.