Tesla is a big name in California. It brings to mind new-age vehicles that run on clean electricity and pave the way to cleaner transportation in California and around the country in the 21st century and beyond. The factories for the new sedan, the Tesla 3, were meant to be a beacon of progress with the most automated assembly system in existence. Sadly, that has not happened, and the Fremont plant is instead the target of many safety investigations. Recent workplace injuries included one that resulted in a severed finger tip.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) revealed that the company has been cited in 24 investigations resulting in fines for 54 violations over the last five years. New penalties that are not yet counted in that number have resulted in fines totaling $236,730. One of these fines resulted from a glove getting caught in a piece of equipment that resulted in the severed finger tip. The Fremont plant has the most workers of any current U.S. auto manufacturer, 15,000 full time and contract workers.
Other automotive plants in different parts of the country were subjected to far fewer investigations and fines over the same time period. One company, with 8,000 workers, faced eight investigations and five violations in that time period. To put it in perspective, 10 automotive manufacturing plants in the United States had a total of 18 violations and $89,539 in fines in the same time period that Tesla alone had the 54 violations and ensuing fines.
Working in manufacturing can be dangerous. If proper safety precautions are taken and appropriate safety training is part of company policy, this risk can be reduced. Any worker in California who is hurt as a result of workplace injuries should seek the counsel of an experienced workers' compensation attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can review the facts of the case and help the client to determine what legal options may be available.