Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has been ordered to pay $89,000 by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health for violating seven safety measures related to a workplace incident in November in which three workers were injured and burned, according to MercuryNews. Three employees’ clothes caught fire on Nov. 13 while working in the Fremont factory when a low pressure aluminum casting press failed, spilling hot metal on the workers.
“Molten metal was released, splattering the three victims, the victims’ clothing caught fire, they stopped and rolled on the floor,” according to a Cal-OSHA report released Thursday. Safety department called 911, and the fire brigade in Firemont arrived within 10 minutes.
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Two Employees back to work, one still recovering
All three victims, namely, Jesus Navarro, Kevin Carter and Jorge Terrazas were admitted in the Valley Medical Center in San Jose with second and third degree burns. Out of three, two of the employees, Carter and Terrazas, are back at work. However, Navarro suffered burns in multiple organs and was hospitalized for 20 days and is recovering at home.
Upon the investigation by Cal-OSHA, it was found that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) failed to comply with the norm, which required ensuring that the low pressure die casting machine was maintained in a safe operating condition, and employees continued to operate the machine ignoring the safety lock, which was broken. Also the employees lacked the proper training and resumed their work without wearing the required eye and face protection.
“The citations speak for themselves,” Peter Melton, a spokesman for Cal-OSHA, said in an interview. “It was a hazardous situation for three employees.”
Tesla plans to appeal
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) manufactures its all-electric Model S sedan at the Fremont factory. The EV manufacturer purchased the plant in October 2012 and has changed the old auto plant into a state-of-art manufacturing facility. The plant is now popularly referred to as the “Tesla factory.”
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is, however, not fully convinced with the verdict and plans to appeal. “We believe there are aspects of the citations that merit further discussion,” the company said in a statement, and added that it has taken proper measures by shutting down the low pressure die casting operations and decommissioned the equipment. Also the injured employees have been given full HR support, paying them full compensation.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) also noted that the accident rate at its Fremont factory is almost twice as low compared to the automotive industry average, based on data from Bureau of Labor.