Many people consider Teslas among the most technically advanced vehicles on the road. The head of Tesla, Elon Musk, once said that its assembly plant, located in Fremont, California, would be the most automated one in the world. However, Tesla’s assembly lines are manned by human workers, just as other automakers’ assembly lines are.
The safety of those workers has been the subject of multiple investigations. Between 2014 and 2018, the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined the automaker for some 54 violations. Those fines totaled almost $237,000. That’s more than double the fines incurred by the 10 leading U.S. auto plants in the country combined.
Those who have looked at the types of injuries suffered by Tesla assembly line workers speculate that many are caused by a chaotic work area. Many injuries may never get reported. Former employees have alleged that the company fears that greater injury reports will add fuel to the move to unionize its workers. More reported injuries also mean more fines and legal fees.
Tesla’s safety chief blames the state for the fact that Tesla has more safety-related fines than companies with plants elsewhere in the U.S. She says, “I think the state of California is more stringent” than other states.
However, she’s working to improve safety standards in the Fremont plant. A safety team of 60 people monitors assembly lines. Athletic trainers have been brought in to help workers stretch and improve their posture in order to minimize repetitive stress injuries. She says the company is encouraging workers to identify and report safety hazards. They’ve also increased training for new employees to help them reduce the risk of injury.
Assembly line jobs can be among the most difficult there are. Besides working with heavy and potentially dangerous equipment, employees perform repetitive actions for hours on end, which can take a toll on the body.
If you’ve suffered an injury on an assembly line — whether from an isolated incident or years of strenuous work, it’s essential to take the time you need to get proper treatment and to heal as much as you’re able to. That’s why you need workers’ compensation to cover that medical care and help you support your family while you’re unable to work. An experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance in helping you get the workers’ compensation to which you’re entitled.