Injury report: Robot attacked Tesla engineer at Texas plant in 2021
A robot bloodied an engineer at a Tesla gigafactory in 2021, according to an injury report.
The robot, used for handling fresh aluminum car parts at the factory, pinned the engineer and scratched his back and arm. The attack left the engineer wounded, with a trail of blood on the floor.
Fellow workers ran to his aid and pressed the emergency stop button. The pinned engineer escaped but couldn’t balance and fell backward down a metal chute used for collecting aluminum.
Before the incident, the engineer and his team were working on a software update on three of the robots. While the robots were supposed to be turned off, one remained on, resulting in the attack.
While the attack left the engineer with an open wound on his hand, Tesla said the worker didn’t require time off to recover.
Safety concerns at Tesla’s factories are not new. According to some data, the rate of workplace injury at Tesla is much higher than the industry standard. At Tesla’s Giga Texas facility, which makes components in Austin for the firm’s electric vehicles, the rate of injury is 1 of every 26 workers, while the industry average is closer to 1 of every 38.
News of extreme workplace injuries on the job could catch the attention of unions, which have been angling for a foothold at Tesla. After securing contracts with Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, United Auto Workers leadership announced it’s targeting nonunion shops like Tesla.
The company also is facing labor pressure across the Atlantic, where Scandinavian trade unions have banded together so the company will sign a collective agreement.