Volkswagen said on Wednesday that a stationary robot killed a contractor at its manufacturing plant in Baunatal, 100 kilometres north of Frankfurt.
The 22-year-old was setting up the robot for a new production line when it grabbed and crushed him against a metal plate, Volkswagen spokesman Heiko Hillwig told the Associated Press.
The employee from a company in Meissen was severely hurt in his chest area. Although he was resuscitated at the plant, he succumbed to his injuries later at the hospital.
Human error was likely to be the cause of the incident rather than a fault with the robot, which normally operates in its confined area, Hillwig said.
According to local newspaper Hessische/Niedersächsische Allgemeine, the victim was standing inside the production area while other members of his team were outside the area.
“We are of course carrying out a thorough investigation into the incident and cannot comment further at this time,” a spokeswoman told The Independent.
German news agency DPA reported that it’s not clear whom prosecutors will bring the charges against, if they decide to do so.