Alabama Auto Parts Supplier Fined $2.5 Million Fine After Woman Was Crushed To Death By Robotic Machine
An Alabama based automotive parts supplier and two other staffing agencies are facing $2.5 million in fines for the horrific death of a 20-year-old girl.
Ajin USA, Joynus Staffing Corp. and Alliance Total Solutions are facing 27 safety citations after the painful demise of the bride-to-be Regina Elsea, announced the U.S. Department of Labor on Dec. 14. The young lady was crushed inside the robotic chamber in the Ajin facility in Cusseta, Alabama.
Tragedy That Claimed Elsea's Life
The incident took place on June 18 when Elsea along with three other staffs entered the robotic machine to repair a sensor fault. The robotic machine that started working suddenly crushed Elsea terribly. She was initially admitted to East Alabama Medical Center and then flown to UAB Hospital. However, Elsea could not survive the injuries she suffered and eventually died on the same day.
Ajin USA that operates with 700 workers supplies automotive parts to Kia and Hyundai. Of 700 people 250 temporary labors were provided to Ajin by the two staffing agencies that have offices at Opelika.
Ajin's Stand On Elsea's Death
Meanwhile, Ajin said in a statement that the company would cooperate with OSHO department throughout the investigation process. The company also noted that it has provided the drawings, photos, documents and allowed interviews with their staff members as per the department's requirements.
"We at Ajin remain deeply saddened over the tragic accident that took the life of one of our valued teammates," the statement said.
Charges Faced By The Companies
According to David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, the accident could have been avoided if the company had implemented some important safety mechanisms. The company was filed for lawsuit on the following citations.
The energy control procedures that could have stopped the machine from restarting suddenly were not utilized by the company.
According to the federal safety standards, it is not permitted to let workers enter the robotic chamber without shutting down the power supply and back up energy sources completely.
The company failed to provide safety locks in such isolation chambers and had improper guarding precautions that could lead to crushing and amputation of working personnel.
Elsea, who died two weeks ahead of her wedding, was said to be a calm person and was close to her friends. The young lady loved spaghetti and her pet dog named "Cow." Elsea's family noted in the obituary that though Elsea lived on this earth only for a short period of time she made a nice "impression on everyone."