A Worker killed by a Robot in a Volkswagen Plant in Germany

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Some institutions would probably work effectively if robots are involved but unfortunately robots can also commit murder or in the future spell the end of human race. A contractor was brutally killed by a robot while on duty. The accident occurred in a  Volkswagen’s production plant in Germany. Allegedly the the man died on Monday at the plant in Baunatal, about 100km north of Frankfurt.

The man was setting up the stationary robot when it grabbed and crushed him against a metal plate. VolksWagen spokesman Heiko Hillwig said that the 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. It was a bad day for the man since another contractor was on the site but was not harmed in any way reports The Guardian.

Reportedly the 21 year old external contractor was installing the robot together with a colleague when he was struck in the chest by the robot and pressed against a metal plate. He later died of his injuries.

Also read: A Website launched to report accidents by Google Driverless Cars

German news agency DPA reported that prosecutors were considering whether to bring charges, and if so, against whom. In the plant, robots are kept behind safety cages to prevent accidental contact with humans. The man who died was inside the safety cage when the accident happened. A second worker was outside the cage, and was not harmed.

The VolksWagen spokesman further provided that the robot was not one of the new generation of lightweight collaborative robots that work side-by-side with workers on the production line and forgo safety cages, and had no known technical defect.

Volkswagen is the top-selling and namesake marque of the Volkswagen Group, the holding company created in 1975 for the growing company, and is now the biggest automaker in both Germany and Europe. The German auto industry is largely composed of luxury models, and the average German could rarely afford anything more than a motorcycle.

In Kenya the case would be guided by the labour laws hence labour law consists of the rules which govern the employment relationship but a broader perspective would see labour law as the normative framework for the existence and operation of all the institutions of the labour market which are the business enterprises, trade Unions, employers Organizations and the state as the regulator/employer.

 

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Erick Vateta
Tech Editor at Kachwanya.com
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Erick Vateta is a lawyer by training, poet, script and creative writer by talent, a model, and tech enthusiast. He covers International tech trends, data security and cyber attacks.
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