California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has opened two new investigations this month into the workplace conditions at Tesla Inc.'s (TSLA) factory in Fremont, according to Business Insider.
Safety Incidents Add to Tesla's Woes
The first probe was opened on September 4 and was a result of an incident in which a contract worker was wedged between two garbage bins when a forklift pushed one of the bins. While the precise date of the incident is not known, the matter was reported to the authority on August 30.
The second probe was opened on September 5, following reports of another incident in which a worker’s fingers were trapped in a torque gun, a power-bolting tool. This incident occurred on August 24, and was reported a week later to the agency.
Tesla has had a history of similar probes by Cal/OSHA. In July, an active investigation was initiated on the company’s safety measures at the Fremont assembly facility following a complaint received by the agency from a Tesla employee. Another probe opened earlier in April resulted in $1,000 fine that was imposed last month. It was comprised of $400 for failure on part of the company to report a worker's injury within seven days and $600 for failing to clear extension cords from the factory floor. Tesla has appealed against the $400 fine claiming that the incident was correctly reported. (See also, Tesla Facing 3rd Big Probe From Calif. Regulators.)
In total, the leading electric vehicle maker now has six open inspections into its Fremont factory, while another one is into its store in Rocklin. Such inspections may not necessarily result in financial penalties or findings of wrongdoing.
"Tesla takes safety extremely seriously and is constantly identifying safety improvements across our global operations to help us become one of the safest places to work," a Tesla spokesperson told Business Insider. Citing increased focus on the safety measures, the spokesperson of the Palo Alto, California-based company added that the organization has taken a number of initiatives “to promote the rapid identification and prevention of safety issues, including encouraging employees to report injury symptoms early and working with athletic trainers to identify and fix areas on the production line that could lead to repetitive motion injuries.”
Earlier this month, CEO Elon Musk announced that Laurie Shelby, the vice president for environmental, health and safety (EHS) will report directly to him as the company focuses on making Tesla “have the safest (and most fun) work environment in the automotive industry by far.”
In a blog post published in February, Shelby claimed that the “recordable incident rate at the Fremont Factory has improved nearly 25 percent from 2016 and is now equivalent to the most recent published industry average.” (See also, Amazon, Tesla Among the Most Dangerous for Workers.)