When Tesla opened its 10 million square foot Gigafactory near Austin, Texas in April 2022, it was meant to be a state-of-the-art manufacturing center that would double as the company’s headquarters.
A year later, the plant is in full swing, employing 20,000 workers who are busy cranking out the Tesla Model Y and next year’s long-awaited Cybertruck.
However, reports from workers state that workplace injuries are common, and since the plant opened, one in every 22 workers has been injured in some way on the job according to the company’s required filings to OSHA.
While workplace injuries do happen in all plants, the Tesla numbers are rather high.
Injuries include robotic arms pinning workers to walls, head injuries, and broken bones.
One worker was injured in an explosion in the metal casting area and others reported that metal molding machines were failing to seal properly and ejecting molten metal near employees.
Other reports from workers told of air conditioning ducts and steel beams falling from the ceiling and nearly striking individuals.
The Texas Observer conducted a long investigation into the 2021 death of Antelmo Ramirez while he was helping to build the sprawling facility.
Ramirez was found to have died from hyperthermia when the temperatures soared to near 100.
Ramirez continued to work without shade or access to water which caused his internal temperature to increase to 106 degrees.
Tesla received tax breaks of $64 million from the state and local municipalities because the area was anxious to secure the deal which would bring billions in revenue and thousands of higher-paying jobs.
It is unclear if the speed at which the factory was built and brought online allowed safety officials to fully vet the conditions within the plant, or if these new reports will spur increased scrutiny.