Workplace accidents again put Tesla in the spotlight

Tesla has been the subject of many questions regarding accurate reporting of employee injuries. The question has cropped up again as reports of possibly artificially low numbers are being reported by Tesla's on-site health clinic. The possibility of workplace accidents being under-reported came to light in a recent article about Tesla's in-house clinic in Fremont, California.

According to former employees, the company uses multiple methods to make the incidents of accidents appear lower than they might be. The former employees, one of whom is a physician's assistant who worked for the clinic, said that the methods used included calling Lyft or Uber in lieu of an ambulance and prohibiting employees from calling 911 without permission from clinic personnel. Possible reasons for this include that ambulance calls are logged and become public information. Also, first responders, such as EMTs, are required to report serious workplace injuries to California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA).

The previous employees described injuries they received and the treatment they got from the in-house clinic. One person was injured when he was caulking the inside of a trunk on a hatchback. Something caused the trunk to close, and it came down on the man's back. He said he was unable to walk, sit or stand up straight. He reportedly requested an ambulance but was told to take Lyft to the hospital.

Workers in California have the right to expect a reasonably safe workplace and proper care if an accident does occur. If a worker suffers an injury due to workplace accidents and has questions regarding one's rights under the law, one should seek the advice of an experienced workers' compensation attorney. A lawyer can review the circumstances of the accident and advise the client as to what legal options are available.

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