Tesla Motors Fined $89,000 For 7 Safety Violations Linked To Fremont Factory Incident


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.”

NBC Bay Area reports (via Twitter) That No Firer Or Explosion Cause Of Multiple Injuries At Tesla Factory

NBC Bay Area Reports (via Twitter)No Fire Or Explosion, But Multiple Injuries At Tesla Factory

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.

Tesla _317216729 Cites issued 4-25-14.pdf

Tesla _317216729 Narrative summary.pdf

Source: Mercury News

Categories: Tesla


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14 Comments on "Tesla Motors Fined $89,000 For 7 Safety Violations Linked To Fremont Factory Incident"

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Typical Tesla response.

Despite employees performing hazardous work without being provided training and employees being allowed to work on a piece of equipment with a broken safety interlock, and employees being allowed to work without proper personal protective equipment, which all resulted in employees being severely burned and employees in the hospital for 20 days, we’re still twice as safe as other car factories!!!!

The only thing missing is accusing Cal-OSHA of being Anti-EV.

It sounds like Tesla employees need to join a union to ensure proper safety procedures are in place.

A union would help assure that employees get proper safety training before working in hazardous conditions. Employees should be provided proper personal protective equipment to protect against hazards. Employees should not work on hazardous equipment if safety interlocks are “broken or removed.”

I personally think they should just pay the fine and fix their issues.

However YOUR opinion should be discarded entirely based on all of your Tesla related troll posts. Whatever your cause is you are not helping it by posting here.

I can see CherylG salivating.. LOL

Brace yourselves for Cherylnobyl

How about waiting to hear both sides of the story?

Also, I will disagree about the unions part. There are many union plants where people do not get proper training or proper equipment.

That said, unionization is up to the workers to decide. So far Tesla workers are not interested.

“Just pay the fine Tesla and move on.”

Yep. Hey Tesla… meet OSHA.

(interesting the amount of the fine equals a Tesla Model S 60kWh. Do they take payment in the form of a car?)

Paying the fine means that you accept wrong doing. If Tesla feels that one or more of the 7 counts are inaccurate in some sense, it is in their right to appeal those counts.

Sometimes it is not about the money but the principal.

Yep.. but still a waste-0-time & $

With three burned workers, one probably disabled for life, Tesla has nothing sensible to appeal. You don’t quibble on technicalities in this scenario. You screwed up. Admit it and move forward.

Your not making any sense. Tesla is taking care of the workers very well if you read, this has nothing to do with the workers. But it has to do with the keeping the record straight which is important for companies.

Reading through the documents, the team leader(victim #2) refused to talk to the safety authority which seems odd. Going on a limb here, it is possible that he somehow violated company policy. But we will know more details ones Tesla files an appeal.

Yes. Appealing due to fines from a random inspection is one thing. Appealing after three workers got burned by molten aluminum is the height of chutzpah.

A problem here is that Musk is an extreme workaholic, who probably would have operated the equipment himself without second thought, broken interlock and all.

I respect that, and realize that Tesla would not be where it is without that mentality. But they must understand that to take it to the next level they need to mature on this sort of thing at a faster rate than they apparently have been, and not be defensive about >everything<.

Again, Tesla has already taken care of the workers. This has nothing to do with the fine and has everything to do with “the record”.

For example, when getting insurance for your workers, it depends on the overall safety of your factory. So Tesla might see their insurance rates jump up due to the increased risk, this would mean workers will get smaller bonuses to cover the finance gap.

If Tesla has a reason to file an appeal, they hold the right to. We don’t live in a country where the government makes a ruling and your guilty without pleading your case.

If they are responsible for it, they will pay the penalties, if not then they set their record straight.

It may not be politic to say so, but I think Cal-OSHA might be the real reason California is not being considered for the battery factory.

All states have some kind of OSHA plan.


doesnt really matter what the details are. the machine was run without the safety features of the device in fully operational condition.

the fine is a joke. I like Tesla and what they are doing but this is inexcusable