NewsDeadly machinery mistake: South Korean man tragically killed by robot at work

Deadly machinery mistake: South Korean man tragically killed by robot at work

Tragic accident at the sorting facility. The robot mistook the worker for a box.
Tragic accident at the sorting facility. The robot mistook the worker for a box.
Images source: © Licensor | Veejay Villafranca
ed. NJA
2:17 PM EST, November 9, 2023

A tragic occurrence manifested at a South Gyeongsang province in South Korea when a robot responsible for lifting vegetable crates at a company mistakenly identified an employee as a box. The affected employee, a 40-year-old man in charge of machinery maintenance, was hastily rushed to the hospital, where, unfortunately, he lost his life.

On Wednesday, at a bell pepper sorting center in South Gyeongsang province, South Korea, the dreadful event transpired.

Mistaking the 40-year-old man for a vegetable package, the automated arm grabbed him, compressing his body against the conveyor belt, resulting in severe injuries to his face and chest.

Following the incident, the man was transported to the hospital, where sadly, efforts to save him proved futile.

The robot in question was designed to handle the lifting and positioning of pepper crates onto pallets.

Robot confuses human with box

Police reports have it that the man was inspecting the robot's sensors ahead of its test run, which was due for November 8.

Initially set for November 6, the test was postponed by two days due to issues concerning the machine's sensor.

As per the information currently available, the victim was an employee at a company that manufactures the said automated carrier machine. He was inspecting the equipment during late-night hours when the regrettable incident happened.

Statement from the Owner

In the aftermath of the incident, the Donggoseong Export Agricultural Complex, the facility's owner, issued a statement advocating for the development of a "precise and safe" system.

Similar incidents

The BBC reported that a similar mishap transpired in South Korea in March.

At that time, a 50-year-old man sustained severe injuries after a robot grabbed him while working at a car parts production factory.

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