Tesla to Appeal $89,000 Fine Over Workplace Safety Violation
State workplace safety officials have fined electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors a whopping $89,000 in regards to violationsrelated to an incident from last year where three workers were injured, which the company plans to appeal.
According to a report from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA), Tesla failed to make sure that a low-pressure aluminum casting press was in a safe operating condition. What’s more, workers weren’t properly trained on the machine, nor were they wearing the proper safety gear. Because the casting press wasn’t being maintained, it failed onNovember 13. Workers were splattered with molten metal, which set their clothes on fire and caused second- and third-degree burns.
The incident is shocking not only because of the injuries’ severity, but also because such accidents aren’t as commonplace anymore. According to OSHA data, workplace injuries and illnesses have dropped from the 1970s’ figure of 10.9 incidents per100 workers to about 3.5 per 100 today.
“The citations speak for themselves,” said Peter Melton, a spokesman for Cal-OSHA. “It was a hazardous situation for three employees.”
However, Tesla plans to appeal the $89,000 fine, because the company believes that “there are aspects of the citations that merit further discussion.”
Tesla has also reported that two of the three injured employees have returned to work since the time of the accident, while the third party is still recovering at home.
What’s more, the accident rate of Tesla’s Fremont place is twice as great as what the Bureau of Labor Data reports the automotive industry’s average to be. The company also noted that Cal-OSHA didn’t find any willful violations.
“We take safety extremely seriously and have taken numerous steps to ensure nothing like it happens again,” said Tesla in a statement. “We fully shut down the low-pressure die casting operation and decommissioned the equipment. We provided the injured employees with dedicated HR support and maintained full pay beyond that provided by workers’ compensation.”