A Tesla engineer was reportedly injured by a malfunctioning robot at the company’s Giga, Tex. factory, located near Austin, Tex., based on an injury report filed with Travis County and federal regulators. According to the Daily Mail, the incident occurred while the engineer was programming software for disabled Tesla robots. The machine pinned the engineer before clawing the engineer’s back and arm, causing bleeding.
This incident added to ongoing concerns regarding potential risks associated with integrating automated robots in the workplace.The injury report — required for Tesla to maintain tax breaks in Texas — has sparked questions about the accuracy of the company’s reporting. Attorney Hannah Alexander of the nonprofit Workers Defense Project, representing Tesla’s contract workers at the Giga plant, has alleged that the number of injuries at the factory is being underreported. The attorney pointed out that a construction worker’s death in September 2021 was not included in Tesla’s reports.
The Daily Mail also reported that the Giga factory has a higher accident rate compared to the rest of the auto industry. In 2022, the factory had one injury for every 21 workers, while the industry median rate was one injury for every 30 workers.The rapid construction of the facility and lax safety measures have been cited as contributing factors to the higher injury rates. Tesla’s self-reported worker injuries range from blunt force trauma to chemical exposures and machine accidents. Cases of workers being caught in machinery and illnesses from toxin exposure are included in the company’s reports.
The Giga factory — which received over $60 million in tax breaks according to Bloomberg — may not be meeting the requirements associated with these incentives.
Source: Rolling Out