Work safety regulators open probe into Tesla's factory conditions

California agency probing Tesla on occupational safety

It is the second time since February that Tesla has halted its production line for the Model 3 at its Fremont, California plant.

Department of Industrial Relations spokesperson Erika Monterroza told Bloomberg that the agency "takes seriously reports of workplace hazards and allegations of employers' underreporting recordable work-related injuries and illnesses".

The Center for Investigative Reporting in the course of this week unleashed a story that brought it to the limelight that indeed Tesla had failed to fulfill its obligation of reporting serious injuries on what is termed the legally mandated reports by many.

The website cited former members of Tesla's environment, health and safety team saying CEO Elon Musk's personal preferences were often invoked as reason not to address potential hazards.

In an interview with USA broadcaster CBS, the billionaire entrepreneur said the production of the Tesla Model 3 hasn't gone as smoothly as planned.

"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". Some workers have attempted to unionize at the factory in the past with the support of the United Automobile Workers (UAW). That is the reason it has made a decision to open inspection at Tesla as was disclosed by a spokeswoman for the state's industrial relations department Erika Monterroza. Some have been dismissed and others resulted in fines.

A Tesla spokesman said Cal-OSHA is required to investigate any claims. The report claims Tesla either failed to report injuries employees incurred while at work or mislabeled them, avoided some safety markings for aesthetic reasons, and gave some employees insufficient training for risky work. Monterroza added that the agency will check to see if serious injuries were reported directly to Cal/OSHA within eight hours, as required by law. On Tuesday, Musk said in a letter to employees that Tesla would manufacture its cars 24-hours a day to meet the deadline.

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