San Jose Mercury News is reporting that "Tesla Motors has been fined $89,000 by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) for seven safety violations, six considered "serious" tied to an incident that injured Tesla workers at the Fremont factory back in November 2013.
As the California OSHA report states:
"Molten metal was released splattering the three victims, the victims' clothing caught fire, they stopped and rolled on the floor. The safety department called 911. The Fremont Fire Department arrived within 10 minutes, approximately."
Mercury News extensively covered this incident. So, let's turn our attention to the chain of events, as told by Dana Hull of Mercury News:
"Tesla employees Jesus Navarro, Kevin Carter and Jorge Terrazas were taken to Valley Medical Center in San Jose with second- and third-degree burns. Carter and Terrazas have returned to work. Navarro, who had burns on his hands, stomach, hip, lower back and ankles, was hospitalized for 20 days and continues to recuperate at home."
"Cal-OSHA's investigation found that Tesla failed to ensure that the low-pressure die casting machine was maintained in a safe operating condition and allowed its employees to operate the machine while the safety interlock was broken. It also found that the employees had not been properly trained regarding the hazards of the machine, and were not wearing the required eye and face protection."
Mercury News reached out to Cal-OSHA spokesman Peter Melton for a statement:
"The citations speak for themselves. It was a hazardous situation for three employees."
An $89,000 fine is like pennies for Tesla Motors, but oddly Tesla seems prepared to appeal the decision:
"...we believe there are aspects of the citations that merit further discussion."
Just pay the fine Tesla and move on.
Tesla has already taken action to ensure an incident such as this doesn't occur in the future. Here's Tesla's statement on the matter:
"We take safety extremely seriously and have taken numerous steps to ensure nothing like it happens again. We fully shut down the low-pressure die casting operation and decommissioned the equipment. We provided the injured employees with dedicated HR support and maintained full pay beyond that provided by workers' compensation."
Tesla then added a safety statement, similar to what we seem to hear from all of the automakers whenever an incident occurs within an automotive factory:
"It's worth noting that the accident rate at our Fremont factory is nearly twice as good as the automotive industry average, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor data."
Below are the CAL-OSHA documents related to the incident at the Fremont factory.
Source: Mercury News