GERMANY: A man killed by a robot in a Volkswagen factory

Home > The news of EUROGIP and occupational risks in Europe > GERMANY: A man killed by a robot in a Volkswagen factory

A young temporary worker aged 22 employed at Volkswagen died when the start-up of a robot hurled him violently against a metallic plate. This accident aroused numerous reactions in Europe.

In the very great majority of cases, robots are isolated in safety cages to perform the tasks required of them. In this case, the young temporary worker was fatally injured when he was in the cage with the robot. A legal enquiry has been opened to determine the exact causes of the accident.

On the face of it, there is nothing to suggest malfunctioning of the robot. The enquiry points rather to a human error, according to Volkswagen’s spokesperson. Nevertheless, this accident raises many question marks regarding the consequences of growing corporate robotization for workers. European press reports therefore reflected these concerns, also mentioning the launch of a new generation of robots, in direct contact with man.

To find out more (In german)

Discover other news



SWEDEN: Serious accidents and long-term sick leave in the food industry

Workers in the food industry run a higher risk of serious accidents at work than other occupational groups. The average risk over the period 2017-2021 was 9.7 serious accidents at work per 1,000 employees. It was 15.5 for butchers and 8.9 for machine operators, who suffered the most serious accidents at work. Bakers and confectioners, although less affected, were still affected, with a rate of 5.3.

Community news


Working at home and OHS with a new OiRA tool

Teleworking has developed strongly since the COVID-19 pandemic, transforming the way companies operate and employees work. However, the issue of occupational health and safety (OHS) remains fundamental. A new interactive online risk assessment tool (OiRA) offers a practical solution for employers and teleworkers, helping them to create safer and healthier home workspaces.



BELGIUM: what to expect from occupational illnesses in 2022

In 2022, around 38,500 people received compensation for permanent disability due to an occupational disease. And nearly 13,000 workers (private sector and provincial or local administrations, APL) filed a claim for compensation; 211 deaths were recognised, 73% of which were due to asbestos, 17% to silicosis and 10% to other diseases. These are the findings of the Fedris “Statistical Report on Occupational Diseases” 2022.