Tesla’s Worker Injury Rate Drastically Higher Than Industry Average In 2015

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Automotive and technology enthusiasts likely would jump at the chance to work for a company as progressive as Tesla. That jump, though, could end in a painful fall.

The injury rate for Tesla workers at the company’s manufacturing plant in 2015 was 31 percent higher than the industry average, according to a report published Wednesday by Worksafe, a California-based organization that strives to eliminate hazards in the workplace. Moreover, the rate of serious injuries — those resulting in days off from work or restricted duty — was nearly double the industry average in 2015.

Overall, the report says Tesla saw 8.8 injuries per 100 workers in 2015, with the industry average being 6.7. For serious injuries, Tesla’s rate was 7.9, compared to 3.9 for the rest of the industry. Worksafe’s study is based on worker-requested Occupational Health and Safety Administration injury reports.

When reached for comment by USA TODAY, the electric automaker didn’t dispute the findings, but did say things recently have gotten much better.

“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,” Tesla said in a statement, via USA TODAY. “We now have the lowest injury rate in the industry by far.

“Our goal is to have as close to zero injuries as humanly possible and to become the safest factory in the auto industry.”

The company’s overall injury rate reportedly improved to 8.1 in 2016. Furthermore, Tesla says its vastly improved rate of 4.6 in the first quarter of last year wasn’t included in Worksafe’s findings.

Thumbnail photo via Flickr/Steve Jurvetson

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