Tesla knocked with almost $30,000 in fines for tent safety hazards – Company Insider

Charges from California regulators are raising brand-new questions about office security at Tesla’s lorry production centers in Fremont.

California’s Department of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA) inspected GA4, an assembly line Tesla built in an al fresco structure outside its primary factory in less than a month, in between June 21 and December 18 (the firm did not specify the number of times it went to the facility) and issued penalties for 6 infractions of California’s labor guidelines. The citations led to fines that total $29,365.

According to Cal-OSHA, Tesla failed to do the following:

Tesla appealed the citations, stating for each that it did not breach the given guideline and that the corresponding penalty was unreasonable.

“Nothing is more important to me or to Tesla than the health and well-being of our employees,” Laurie Shelby, Tesla’s vice president of environmental, health, and safety, stated in a declaration to Business Expert. “My EHS group and operational leaders have been intently focused on GA4 over the previous six months, implementing safety protocols throughout the new line that not just keep Tesla in compliance with existing requirements however also minimize risks to partners. The OSHA inspection did not arise from any incident or injury and happened throughout the construction stage of the task. Tesla will challenge OSHA’s findings concerning the safety conditions that existed at the time of GA4 building,”

Thomas Armstrong, a professor at the University of Michigan who has worked with car companies to make their manufacturing processes more ergonomically friendly, told Company Expert that the violations are not unexpected due to the speed with which Tesla constructed GA4, however he stated the infractions do not always indicate that the center is risky, because they largely describe failures to take preventive procedures, instead of employee injuries.

“It definitely is not a recommendation for their safety culture, however, again, it does not suggest that they aren’t running securely,” he said.

The kinds of infractions Tesla was mentioned for are common in the car industry, and the fine Tesla received quantities to “a slap on the wrist,” Armstrong said.

Concerns about worker security

Injury stats and reports from media outlets have raised concerns about worker safety at Tesla’s factories, though issues about office security are not unique to Tesla in the automobile industry.

A 2017 report from the employee advocacy group Worksafe stated the injury rate at Tesla’s Fremont factory was 31% higher than the market average in 2015 and 2016, however Tesla said in 2018 that it had made safety enhancements that led its recordable injury rate to fall by nearly 25%in 2017. The car manufacturer stated its 2017 recordable injury rate was “equivalent” to the market average.

Worksafe has not launched an analysis of Tesla’s 2017 or 2018 injury rates, but Tesla received more citations from OSHA associated to vehicle production than Ford, General Motors, or Fiat Chrysler from 2017 through completion of 2018. Tesla got 21 citations during that period, while Ford got 15, General Motors received three, and Fiat Chrysler got one. Ford was fined the most throughout that period, $102,554, while Tesla was fined $63,870, General Motors was fined $14,122, and Fiat Chrysler was fined $7,967.

While OSHA’s online database does not reveal the nature of each violation, reports from Reveal released in 2018 claimed that Tesla misreported workplace injuries, prevented using safety markings for aesthetic reasons, and failed to give hurt employees appropriate medical care. The first report was released prior to Tesla built GA4, and the 2nd made no particular mention of the center. Tesla has< a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/tesla-responds-to-report-claims-about-misreported-injuries-factory-2018-4"> rejected that it has actually misreported office injuries and stopped working to utilize security markings for aesthetic reasons. The automaker did not react to requests for discuss the claims that it stopped working to offer hurt employees appropriate medical treatment.

An unconventional choice

The choice to develop an al fresco structure to supplement automobile production in less than a month was non-traditional. It was motivated by a desire to strike production objectives for the Model 3 sedan, which had undergone substantial production delays in the prior year.

Michael Ramsey, a vehicle expert at Gartner, told Service Insider at the time that the relocation had no precedent in the vehicle industry.

“It’s exceptionally uncommon, at a minimum,” he said. “I have actually never ever heard of anyone ever doing this in the past on a grand scale.”

However Tesla CEO Elon Musk applauded GA4 on multiple occasions, stating he chose it to the main factory and highlighting how it increased the automaker’s production output by 50%.

“It’s really way better than the factory structure. More comfy & & an excellent view of the mountains,” Musk

stated in June. Have a Tesla news tip? Contact this press reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.

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