Safety at Tesla Factory Being Scrutinized Following Injury to Worker

Tesla has already come under much scrutiny due to an uncertain financial outlook as well as troubles in production of its new model along with questions about safety with its driver-assistance technology.

However, another new problem has come to light: injuries at the workplace.

The watchdog for job safety in California said on Friday it was carrying out an investigation over a recent incident that took place at the Tesla’s factory located in Fremont, in which an employees needed to be hospitalized after suffering a broken jaw.

The employee, a 30-year old male millwright hired by a subcontractor, was hit by equipment known as a skid carrier, which carries a vehicle along the assembly line process.

California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health has a period of six months to issue any citations for any workplace safety violations.

The April 9 incident was reported first by Bloomberg, but later confirmed by state’s worker safety agency.

Earlier in the week, the Center for Investigative Reporting, a non-profit organization cataloged several injuries that factory workers at Tesla have suffered.

Those injuries included severe headaches that were attributed by a worker to fumes from adhesives, repetitive stress injuries and back strain.

The report said Tesla’s rate of injuries exceeded the 2016 industry average, and the company chose not to report some incidents as required under the labor laws in California.

Tesla, through a blog post, said that the report incorrectly counted the number of injuries, due to some having occurred outside the car plant and relied on information that was outright inaccurate.

On Friday, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health said that it opened another inquiry involving the electric carmaker, but did not specify what the nature was only saying that no data could be released due to the case remaining open.

A statement was issued by Tesla that said it took all injuries very seriously and gave full its cooperation to the agency, as nothing is more important to them than the well-being and safety of those working at Tesla each day.

Tesla also looked to distance itself from the incident on April 9 saying that the worker who was injured was not under Tesla’s supervision.

Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk acknowledged the company has been struggling to work certain kinks out on the assembly line as it prepares for its first offering to a mass market the Model 3. He called the process of debugging the assembly a “production hell,” and recently said that he is sleeping each night at the company’s factory.



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