Hyundai, Kia Supplier Faces $2.5 Million Fine in Death of Worker

Hyundai, Kia Supplier Faces $2.5 Million Fine in Death of Worker

The 20-year-old temporary worker was crushed to death when the assembly line stopped and she and three of her co-workers entered a robotic station to clear a sensor fault, and the robot started abruptly.

An Alabama supplier for automakers Hyundai and Kia faces $2.5 million in fines and 27 safety citations after a June incident where a robot fatally crushed a temporary worker.

OSHA cited Ajin USA, a global auto parts supplier headquarted in South Korea, in the death of the worker. Two staffing agencies that employed the temporary workers were also cited.

The four most serious citations are for:

Failing to use energy control procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance and servicing

Exposing workers to caught-in, struck-by and crushing hazards by allowing them to enter a robotic cell without shutting down and securing hazardous stored energy according to safety procedures.

Failing to provide safety locks to isolate hazardous energy

Exposing employees to crushing and amputation hazards due to improper machine guarding.

The 20-year-old worker was crushed to death when the assembly line stopped and she and three of her co-workers entered a robotic station to clear a sensor fault, and the robot started abruptly.

As a result of the violations, Ajin USA has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violators Enforcement Program. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer’s facilities if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations.

Ajin has plants in South Korea, China, Vietnam and the U.S. The Cusseta, Ala., plant has about 700 workers.

The staffing agencies cited are Joynus Staffing Corp. and Alliance Total Solutions.

The companies have 15 days to contest the findings.

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