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Tesla Gigafactory Safety Concerns: Explosions, Injuries, and Work Culture Exposed

As Tesla gears up to deliver its inaugural Cybertrucks, a recent expos√© sheds light on concerning incidents within the Texas factory responsible for the truck’s assembly. Alarming occurrences at the Gigafactory in Austin, Texas, include a casting machine explosion and a robot purportedly injuring a worker.

As reported by The Information, the factory, where approximately 1 in 21 workers were reportedly injured in 2022, saw various incidents. Derived from Tesla’s mandatory injury reports to OSHA, the data highlights significant safety concerns.

In 2021, an engineer approached a seemingly halted robot arm but was unexpectedly clawed and pinned to the wall. The machine, adhering to its programmed motions, caused the engineer to bleed. Despite hitting the emergency stop button, the engineer extricated himself, falling into a chute, and leaving a trail of blood.

A Tesla injury report submitted to Travis County, Texas, mentions a robot-related incident, but details differ from witness accounts, with no indication of missed work time. In unrelated incidents in August 2022, one worker’s ankle was caught under a cart, sidelining them for 127 days. Shortly after, another worker suffered a head injury, leading to an 85-day absence.

Recent injury reports reveal a worker concussed by an explosion in the metal casting area around New Year’s 2023. Allegedly caused by water mixing into the molten aluminum press machine, the blast damaged equipment, yet it’s uncertain if Tesla reported it to OSHA, which reportedly lacked inspection records for this incident.

Tesla Gigafactory Safety Concerns: Explosions, Injuries, and Work Culture Exposed

Another worker reports issues with a molding machine, spewing molten metal. When a solution was proposed, the worker faced reprimand for potential production slowdowns.

Contractors installing metal grating in June fell due to a lack of protective gear, resulting in fractures and a punctured lung. OSHA inspected and fined the contractors.

The factory experienced multiple incidents of objects falling from above, including air conditioning ducts, steel beams, and building materials, posing risks to auto workers.

Notably, Tesla’s Fremont factory in California also grapples with a history of worker injuries, facing accusations of underreporting and hazards in an outdoor tent, leading to fines.

Tesla’s Gigafactory in Austin, operational since April 2022, embodies a work culture described by employees as “ultra hardcore.” Complaints include prolonged hours, unsafe conditions, and harassment.

CEO Elon Musk’s opposition to employee unionization is evident, choosing a “right to work” state for the Texas factory. Meanwhile, Musk’s other company in Texas, SpaceX, faces scrutiny for neglecting workplace injuries.

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