Tesla, an automotive company that specializes in building electric cars, recently incurred fines totaling $89,000, issued by California Division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The fines were brought about by an investigation into an industrial accident, which happened last November at the company’s Fremont California facility. The accident resulted in several workplace injuries. Tesla was cited with seven safety violations. Of those violations, six were deemed as being serious.
The investigation was prompted by an incident involving a piece of machinery, which upon failing, began to spew molten metal. Some of the hot liquid metal flew onto the clothing of three workers. The workers’ clothes were in turn set ablaze, leading them to drop to the floor and roll out the flames.
Cal-OSHA conducted the investigation and reported that the workers suffered third and second-degree burns as a result. All three received care at a San Jose hospital. One worker was released from the hospital that day and another had to stay overnight for observation purposes. Those two workers are now back on the job.
The third worker had to remain in the hospital for a period of 20 days. He incurred burns over several parts of his body. To date, he is still convalescing at home.
Cal-OSHA’s citation charged that Tesla failed to properly maintain the piece of machinery in question. In addition, the company permitted the workers to run the machinery in spite of its having a broken safety mechanism. Further, the citation maintains that some of the workers who operated the machine were not provided with adequate training or protective equipment.
Industrial work places frequently have numerous hazards as a matter of course. Employers are responsible for making sure all machinery is safe to operate. Also, before allowing workers to operate potentially dangerous machines, they must be properly trained and outfitted so they can perform their tasks with a minimum of risk.
If you ever incur an injury while working on a California industrial site, you should consider seeking legal representation as soon as possible. Medical expenses and time off from work can create a significant financial burden. An attorney with a practical knowledge of workers’ insurance laws may be able to help maximize your compensation.
Source: Transport Evolved, “Tesla Pays $89,000 in Fines for Last Year’s “Industrial Accident” at Fremont Factory,” Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, May 5, 2014