Business

Tesla workers report robot injuries, explosions at US Cybertruck factory

November 22, 2023

San Francisco, Nov 22 (AGENCY):

As Elon Musk gears up to deliver first Cybertrucks to customers, a new report has claimed that workers at Tesla’s Texas gigafactory report explosions, concussions and grisly robot injuries.

The Information reports that worker injuries and safety lapses are common at Tesla's giant Texas factory, where the Cybertruck is being built.

One out of every 21 workers were reportedly hurt in 2022. The data is derived from the required injury reports Tesla submits to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) in the US.

"An explosion in the castings department. A worker pinned by a robot. Elon Musk's gargantuan car factory in Austin is critical to Tesla's plans to sell 20 million vehicles a year. But there’s a pattern of risky incidents at the plant, current and former workers say," the report alleged.

In 2021, an engineer was programming the software that controls manufacturing robots at Tesla's Texas factory when something went wrong. One of the robots “pinned the engineer against a surface, pushing its claws into his body and drawing blood from his back and his arm,” the report claimed, citing people who saw it happened.

"After another worker hit an emergency stop button, the engineer maneuvered his way out of the robot’s grasp, falling a couple of feet down a chute designed to collect scrap aluminum and leaving a trail of blood behind him, one of the witnesses said," the report noted.

An injury report submitted to Travis County, Texas, by Tesla reportedly has a robot-related incident but does not clearly match the one from witness accounts.

In August 2022, a worker's ankle got caught under a cart, which put them out of work for 127 days. Days later, another worker suffered a head injury which put them out for 85 days, the report alleged.

Around New Year 2023, at least one worker was concussed after getting launched back from an explosion in the metal casting area. The blast was allegedly caused by water inadvertently mixing into the molten aluminum press machine.

Tesla’s Fremont factory in California also has a similar history with worker injuries. The Cybertruck, which was first announced in 2019, is Tesla's first new product in years.

Tesla initially stated that the truck would start at $39,900, but it is expected to be much more expensive due to expensive building materials. The Cybertruck is set to hit the market at the end of the month.

 

 

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