Report shows Tesla's Fremont plant workers injured more than average

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Workers at Tesla's Fremont plant are getting injured at a much higher rate than the average auto industry worker, according to a new report. (KGO-TV)

Workers at Tesla's Fremont plant are getting injured at a much higher rate than the average auto industry worker, according to a new report that the automaker disputes.

Worksafe, a Bay Area nonprofit that specializes in workplace health and safety issues, created the report by analyzing public data from Tesla.

Their analysis was initiated after the United Auto Workers approached them with complaints from Tesla workers about health and safety.

Worksafe found that the total recordable incidence rate for Tesla's Fremont plant was 31 percent higher than the industry-wide rate in 2015 with an average of 8.8 injuries per 100 workers. The industry average over that same period was 6.7 injuries per 100 workers.

The rate, according to the report, dipped slightly for 2016 to 8.1 injuries per 100 workers. "Tesla is about 30 percent higher than the industry average in terms of overall injuries, and more than double the industry average in terms of more serious injuries," Worksafe Executive Director Doug Parker said.

The report states that the rate of serious injuries at the plant known as Days Away, Restrictions and Transfers (DART) was approximately double the industry average for 2015. A serious injury is one that results in days away from work, restricted duty, or a job transfer. Tesla's DART rate for 2015, according to the report, was 7.9 compared with 3.9 for the rest of the industry.
In a statement on their blog, Tesla said the questions being raised about safety at the plant was related to the United Automobile Workers attempt to organize workers.

"We may have had some challenges in the past as we were learning how to become a car company, but what matters is the future and with the changes we've made, we now have the lowest injury rate in the industry by far," said a Tesla spokesperson in a written statement. "Our goal is to have as close to zero injuries as humanly possible and to become the safest factory in the auto industry."

Kristen Sze will have the latest on this report starting at 4 p.m. on ABC7 News. Click here to follow her on Twitter.

Click here for more stories about Tesla.

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