Updated California's workplace safety monitor is investigating Tesla over the conditions at its main assembly plant.
California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) says it will be looking into the maker of Silicon Valley status symbols in the wake of a damning report on the hazards employees face in Tesla's massive factory in the Bay Area city of Fremont.
"Cal/OSHA takes seriously reports of workplace hazards and allegations of employers’ underreporting recordable work-related injuries and illnesses on the Log 300. Cal/OSHA currently has an open inspection at Tesla," a spokesperson for the state's department of industrial relations said in a statement to The Register.
"While we do not disclose details of open inspections, Cal/OSHA’s inspections typically include a review of the employer’s Log 300, as well as a review to ensure that serious injuries are reported directly to Cal/OSHA within eight hours as required by law. Cal/OSHA’s regulations define a serious injury or illness as one that requires employee hospitalization for more than 24 hours for other than medical observation, or in which a part of the body is lost or permanent disfigurement occurs."
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This after the Center for Investigative Journalism published a damning report on Tesla's efforts to cover up injuries workers had sustained at the luxury automaker's Fremont facility.
Among the choice cuts in the report was the accusation Tesla boosted its safety numbers by not reporting multiple on-the-job injuries and a story telling that hazard zones were not marked with the necessary high-visibility yellow paint because "Elon does not like the color yellow."
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment on the Cal/OSHA investigation, but the company earlier this week issued a detailed rebuttal of the allegations made in the Center for Investigative Journalism's report.
"We welcome constructive criticism, but those who care about journalistic integrity should strive for the truth above all. Unfortunately, the writers at Reveal have published an article that paints a completely false picture of Tesla and what it is actually like to work here," the Tesla response reads.
"In our view, what they portray as investigative journalism is in fact an ideologically motivated attack by an extremist organization working directly with union supporters to create a calculated disinformation campaign against Tesla."
Updated to add
Tesla said in a statement to The Register it will be cooperating with the investigation. Here's their statement in full:
"The injury rate at our Fremont factory is half what it was in the final years of the UAW plant operated by GM/Toyota immediately before us, and we care deeply about the safety and well-being of our people and strive to do better every day."
"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. 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."
"In fact, unlike other automakers who in the past have been cited by OSHA for record-keeping violations, we have never in the entire history of our company received a violation for inaccurate or incomplete injury record-keeping."