Accidents in the automotive industry

Even though highly specialized safety procedures are put in place at car factories, a large number of accidents still occur on their premises. For the most part, these accidents are not fatal. Nonetheless, it is worth protecting employees against them to avoid a multi-day production line shutdown.

The most common causes of accidents in the automotive industry include falls from heights, slips, and trips, or injuries resulting from lifting objects. However, accidents involving machinery take the 4th place: being pulled in by an arm or clothing, and being struck by robots. It is not difficult to imagine that the consequences of an encounter with a machine are sometimes fatal.

Despite all efforts, unfortunate accidents in the industry are still inevitable. Not only Volkswagen but also other big players in the automotive market have found this out.

How can Thermosafety protect the lives and health of workers in automotive companies?

Fatal accident at an auto parts factory in Cusseta, USA, 2017

A factory worker tried to repair one of the machines. Due to a malfunction, the assembly line stopped. To fix the sensor malfunction causing the stoppage and start the line, the woman entered the robot cell with three other workers. As a result of suddenly starting the robot and being in the danger zone, she was crushed.

The machine was not properly secured and the LOTO procedure was not used.

How could Thermosafety help in this situation?

Upon detecting a human in the danger zone, the system would have stopped the robot or slowed down its operation. This would have allowed the woman to safely leave the danger zone. [source]

Fatal accident at a car factory in Detroit, USA, 2015

A worker was crushed while maintaining a filter press. Since he was working alone, there were no witnesses to the situation. The need to conduct an investigation paralyzed the work of the factory.

How could Thermosafety help in this situation?

Thermosafety, due to its specificity of operation, would stop the operation of the press before an accident occurs. Regardless of whether the machine was started accidentally or not turned off, the system would stop the machine’s operation when a person entered the danger zone. In addition, Thermosafety allows you to record events, which would provide the investigators with evidence and reduce downtime. [source]

A fatal accident at an auto parts factory in Manesar, India, 2015

The welding robot got stuck while performing one of the programmed actions. To restart it, one of the workers tried to correct the metal plate that caused the robot to stop. As soon as he did so, the robot began to perform its tasks. As the worker was standing at the welding site, the robotic arm fatally injured and electrocuted him.

How could Thermosafety help in this situation?

The presence of a human in the danger zone or the forbidden zone would make it impossible to start the robot connected to the system. The worker, after removing the plate blocking the machine, could safely leave the welding cell. [source]

Fatal accident at a car parts factory in Ellesmere Port, UK, 2010

An electrician went inside one of the machines to unblock the conveyor belt on the paint line. Since the power was still on after unlocking the machine started and crushed the man.

Although the machine originally had two systems ensuring safety, in the end, due to frequent blockages of the conveyor belt, a bypass was made.

How could Thermosafety help in this situation?

Thermosafety would stop the operation of the machine and not allow it to start until the worker left the inside of the machine. [source]