California opens investigation into Tesla's workplace conditions

TeslaThe Reveal report said California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health has noted over 40 violations from Tesla since 2013.
  • California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating workplace conditions for Tesla employees, Bloomberg first reported on Wednesday.
  • On Monday, the Center for Investigative Reporting published an investigative report saying Tesla had misreported workplace injuries and failed to take some safety measures at its factory in Fremont, California.
  • In a blog post, Tesla denied the allegations in the report, calling it “a completely false picture of Tesla and what it is actually like to work here.”

California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating workplace conditions for Tesla employees, Bloomberg first reported on Wednesday.

An agency representative told Business Insider it “currently has an open inspection at Tesla.”

The representative said the agency didn’t discuss open investigations but that they often involve reviews of electronic records that companies submit to report workplace injuries and illnesses.

“Cal-OSHA is required to investigate any claims that are made, regardless of whether they have merit or are baseless (as we believe these are), and we always provide our full cooperation,” a Tesla spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “Last year, a Cal-OSHA investigation into our injury reporting and record-keeping was closed without any violations found and without any further action taken.”

The spokesperson added that “never in the entire history of our company received a violation for inaccurate or incomplete injury record-keeping.”

On Monday, the Center for Investigative Reporting published an investigative report saying Tesla had misreported workplace injuries and failed to take some safety measures at its factory in Fremont, California.

Specifically, the report says Tesla failed to report injuries employees incurred while at work or mislabeled them, avoided some safety markings for aesthetic reasons, and insufficiently trained some employees for dangerous work. It added that the California occupational-safety agency had logged over 40 violations from Tesla since 2013.

The investigative-journalism outlet said it interviewed more than three dozen current and former Tesla employees and reviewed hundreds of pages of documents, including internal records and correspondence related to injury reporting.

In a blog post, Tesla denied the allegations in the report, calling it “a completely false picture of Tesla and what it is actually like to work here” and “an ideologically motivated attack by an extremist organisation working directly with union supporters to create a calculated disinformation campaign against Tesla.”

“This is not to say that there aren’t real issues that need to be dealt with at Tesla or that we’ve made no mistakes with any of the 37,000 people who work at our company,” the post said. “However, there should be absolutely no question that we care deeply about the well-being of our employees and that we try our absolute hardest to do the right thing and to fail less often.”

In a February post highlighting Tesla’s efforts to improve worker safety at the Fremont factory, Laurie Shelby, Tesla’s vice president of environmental, health, and safety, said the company’s “total recordable incident rate” had fallen by 25% since 2016 and was in line with the industry average. Shelby also outlined steps Tesla had taken to better manage and prevent workplace injuries.

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