Tesla Motors is reportedly facing nearly $90,000 in fines in connection with various safety violations concerning an accident that injured several people at its Fremont factor last year. The incident, which left workers with third-degree burns, occurred when a costing press broke down and spilled hot metal on the workers.
An investigation by the California division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reportedly found that Tesla had not properly maintained the casting press in a safe condition, and that employees were permitted to operate the machine without all of its safety features intact. Also, workers were not wearing protective equipment at the time of the incident.
If Tesla’s public statements regarding the accident are accurate, the company is supporting the injured employees well. The company said that, in addition to workers’ compensation benefits, the employees’ full pay is being maintained during their recovery. That said, the company is planning to appeal the citations as it believes there are some issues that need to be further discussed.
Unfortunately, companies are not always this supportive of employees injured on the job. Depending on the nature of the accident, employers sometimes try to oppose claims for work benefits on the basis that the injury was not actually in the course of employment or some other reason. When this happens, it is important for an employee harmed on the job to understand his or her rights and have an advocate by his or her side. Working with an experienced attorney can help to ensure a favorable outcome in the case.
Source: Contra Costa Times, “Tesla Motors faces $89,000 in fines for incident that injured workers at Fremont facility,” Dana Hull, May 1, 2014.