Concerns over risks of automated robots in the workplace rise after Tesla engineer is attacked by machine at Giga Texas factory

Robot Malfunction Leads to Tesla Engineer’s Gruesome Injury at Giga Texas Factory – 

At Tesla’s Giga Texas factory near Austin, a horrific incident unfolded as a robot attacked a Tesla engineer during a malfunction.

Witnesses observed the machine, designed for handling freshly cast aluminum car parts, pinning the engineer, who was programming software for disabled Tesla robots nearby.

The robot inflicted metal claw injuries on the worker, resulting in a “trail of blood” across the factory floor. The disturbing event was disclosed in a 2021 injury report, raising concerns about the risks associated with automated robots in the workplace.

Underreported Injuries and Concerns:

While this incident was documented, an attorney representing Tesla’s Giga Texas contract workers claims that injuries at the factory are underreported.

The attorney, Hannah Alexander of the Workers Defense Project, questions the accuracy of injury reports submitted by Tesla, citing conversations with workers.

The underreporting allegedly includes the death of a construction worker in September 2021, identified as Antelmo Ramírez, who succumbed to heat stroke while building the Giga Texas facility.

Allegations of Misclassification and Safety Concerns:

In the past, the Workers Defense Project filed a complaint with the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), asserting that Tesla’s contractors and subcontractors provided false safety certificates to workers.

Allegedly, workers received inadequate training, raising concerns about safety practices. Similar findings in California OSHA investigations in 2018 revealed Tesla’s misclassification of on-the-job accidents and injuries to evade regulatory oversight.

Tesla’s Injury Data and Workplace Safety:

Tesla’s self-reported injury data indicates a higher rate of accidents at the Giga Texas plant compared to the auto industry median.

In 2022, approximately one in 21 workers at Tesla’s Giga Texas factory experienced on-the-job injuries, surpassing the industry median of one in 30 workers.

The severity of injuries requiring time off or job duty transfers also exceeded industry norms. Concerns about workplace safety have intensified, with reports attributing increased injuries to the rapid construction pace and lax safety measures during the Giga Texas facility’s development.

Legal and Compliance Issues:

Tesla’s compliance with economic development incentive agreements, entailing the submission of annual compliance reports, has been called into question.

Attorney Hannah Alexander contends that injuries and deaths, even among construction workers not directly employed by Tesla, should be accurately reported to fulfill contractual obligations.

The attorney suggests that Tesla’s failure to record all incidents may impact the validity of the company’s tax incentives.

Texas Construction Worker Safety Concerns:

Texas, where Giga Texas is located, ranks as the most dangerous state for construction workers in the US, with workers 22% more likely to die on the job compared to the national average.

Reports indicate that Tesla’s move to Texas was influenced by dissatisfaction with health and safety regulations in California, which led to the relocation of the company’s headquarters and manufacturing operations.

Ongoing Challenges and Call for Transparency:

The Giga Texas factory’s sprawling size, combined with its phased operational launch, is cited as a potential factor contributing to higher injury rates.

The attorney and advocacy groups emphasize the need for accurate reporting, transparency, and improved safety practices to address ongoing challenges at Tesla’s Giga Texas facility.

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