Incident 242: Manufacturing Robot Failure Caused Factory Worker's Death in India

Description: A sensor snag resulted in an automotive parts factory robot falling on a factory worker in India
Alleged: Unknown developed an AI system deployed by Chakan plant of Automotive Stampings and Assemblies, which harmed Umesh Ramesh Dhake.

Suggested citation format

Pednekar, Sonali. (2021-02-24) Incident Number 242. in McGregor, S. (ed.) Artificial Intelligence Incident Database. Responsible AI Collaborative.

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A 44-year-old employee at the Chakan plant of Automotive Stampings and Assemblies Ltd (ASAL), an automobile component company, died after being critically injured in an accident involving an industrial robot on Wednesday morning, said police.

An offence in this regard has been registered against some officials and staffers of the company on charges of causing death due to alleged negligence. Police have identified the deceased as Umesh Ramesh Dhake, a resident of Alandi. A First Information Report in the case has been filed by Dhake’s wife Priya (43). Dhake had been working with the company as a welder for the last 22 years.

On Wednesday morning, he was working at a robotic assembly line. According to the complaint, Dhake, who was standing next to the assembly line, sustained critical injuries on his head and neck after a robotic unit fell on him due to a possible snag in a sensor, the complaint says.

He was rushed to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. An FIR was subsequently registered against five staffers of the company, including some department officials and supervisors responsible for safety measures. The complaint by Dhake’s wife alleges that adequate safety measures were not taken, and her husband was not wearing a helmet or any other safety gear at the time of the accident.

Assistant Police Inspector Prakash Rathod of Chakan police station said a probe has been launched into the case.

A spokesperson for Automotive Stampings and Assemblies said, “At ASAL, we do lay the utmost importance on safety and mandate that each and every workmen and employee adhere to safety norms and wear appropriate PPEs while working at the shopfloor. This was an extremely unfortunate incident that the deceased was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. We are investigating the causes that led to the incident. Our full sympathies lie with the family of the deceased and we have been providing support to them.”

Injured critically in accident involving industrial robot, factory employee dies