From 2014 to 2018, Tesla’s auto production facility in Fremont, California, was issued a total of 54 OSHA violations: three times more than all the top 10 auto plants in the U.S. combined. During those five years, Nissan was issued the second-highest number of violations, which was five. Following it are Toyota and Ford with four violations each. This trend may be important for those in New Jersey who are anticipating Tesla’s self-driving cars.
Tesla’s OSHA violations made up 75 percent of all the violations among the top 10 despite the fact that, overall, Tesla ranks seventh in terms of estimated production capacity. The Tesla CEO states that production line tweaks could allow the Fremont facility to start producing 7,000 vehicles a week. The next goal would be 10,000 vehicles a week.
Also, Tesla has only half the industry average of reportable incidents. Twenty-two of the 58 violations arose from nine accidents while 18 arose from seven complaints. Four incidents unconnected with specific complaints resulted in eight violations. According to the CEO, the California OSHA branch is stringent and so more critical on Tesla.
Twelve violations listed in the OSHA database are from 2018. Studies show that at least six additional violations were issued that year but are still unlisted. Twenty-seven violations were issued to Tesla and Tesla Energy-owned locations around the U.S.
OSHA has standards for nearly every industry that are designed to help reduce the risk of worker injuries. That risk can never be eliminated, though. Injured employees may file for workers’ compensation benefits, which cover medical bills and a percentage of lost wages, but they might want to hire a lawyer beforehand. The employer could try to deny the claim by showing that the victim was responsible for his or her own injuries, in which case the victim may consider an appeal.