Company fined after worker’s death in robotic machine

Associated Press

Ionia, Mich. — State regulators have proposed a $7,000 fine for a western Michigan company in the death of an employee who got caught in a robotic machine.

Bill Holbrook says his wife’s head injuries were so severe that the funeral home recommended a closed casket.

Wanda Holbrook was killed last July at Ventra Ionia Main in Ionia. The company makes auto bumpers, trailer hitches and chrome-plated plastics.

State inspectors say a lockout device could have halted the machine when Holbrook entered the robotic cell. General Manager John Atkinson declined to comment when contacted about the fine by The Grand Rapids Press.

The company has two weeks to appeal.