Tesla is under scrutiny for a workplace incident earlier this year at its Fremont factory, which could result in a total fine of $38,000. According to documents obtained by Bloomberg through a California Public Records Act request, the electric automaker allegedly failed to ensure the power was cut to a conveyor belt during quality inspections, leading to a serious injury sustained by a female worker in April. The worker reportedly became trapped in a Model Y after its door struck a fixed vertical gate, with the documents describing the injuries as “serious.”
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has cited Tesla for four safety violations, proposing a fine of $18,000 for the specific violation, along with an additional $18,000 for the failure to maintain an effective injury and illness prevention program. Two $1,000 fines are also proposed for “general” violations at the California-based factory.
Tesla is reportedly contesting the citations and fines. Regulatory inspections conducted between April and October found instances where the factory floor was not kept clear of obstructions that could pose a tripping hazard. Furthermore, Tesla allegedly lacked written procedures to control “hazardous energy” during various machinery-related activities such as cleaning, servicing, repairing, setting up, and adjusting.
The Fremont factory has faced regulatory attention in the past, with allegations of racial issues. Last year, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing in California claimed the site had “rampant racism,” accusing Tesla of ignoring complaints about racial slurs. Tesla denied these allegations. In September of this year, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a separate lawsuit, asserting that Tesla had tolerated severe harassment of Black employees at the Fremont factory.