OSHA Fines Tesla – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not take unsafe working conditions lightly. They don’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mom and pop shop OR a $400 Billion company – if your employees are working in unsafe working conditions, they will issue fines. More recently, OSHA issued $298,000 in fines to Tesla!
According to OSHA, an agency of the federal department, it’s a violation of Federal Law to operate a forklift without proper training and holding a valid forklift certification – and as you can see, one that comes with hefty (and increasing ) penalties. Currently,
- Serious violations can cost a business $14,502 per violation!
- Failure to abate violations can cost a business $14,502 per day beyond the abatement date! AND…
- Willful or repeated violations can COST a business $145,027 per violation!
You see, under OSHA, forklifts are categorized as powered industrial trucks – proving to be an asset across various industries. They move, raise, lower, and remove objects, pallets, boxes, containers, and more.
Although beneficial, they can present costly hazards to the forklift operator, pedestrians, loads, equipment, etc. Therefore, to protect lives and assets, OSHA regulates the industry – stressing the importance of:
- Inspecting and maintaining the forklift before use.
- Using and implementing good operating practices when traveling and maneuvering to prevent accidents.
- Identifying hazards and implementing appropriate practices when load handling.
As such, when workers at the Texas factory supplying Tesla their Model Y doors shared their concerns about the plant’s working conditions at no avail – OSHA stepped in. OSHA reports the company “willfully exposed [workers] to hazards related to unsafe machine operation, potential falls and a lack of personal protective equipment,” among other concerning working conditions.
Thirty minutes away from the Tesla part supplier plant, Simwon NA Corp., is Tesla’s Gigafactory in Austin. There, workers expressed their concerns about unsafe working conditions as well, but Tesla again ignored their cry – until OSHA stepped in.
The Gigafactory, also known as “Giga Texas,” is the ten million square foot factory constructed in Texas, after Elon Musk announced his company’s big move from California.
Allegedly, workers were placed in unsafe working conditions when constructing the factory, including being told to work without training, falsifying safety credentials, and not being briefed on proper safety conditions. This and a number of ongoing reports have been brought to OSHA’s attention.
In respect to the case against the Tesla supplier, they have been given fifteen business days to comply to the citations or request to dispute the matter with OSHA’s area director.
Tesla does not appear to have a public relations director and have not commented about the complaints, cases, and consequent fines.
If you’re an employer or a forklift operator, don’t risk receiving OSHA’s massive penalties. OSHA does not discriminate. Safety is their main focus and if you’re doing anything that goes against that, they’ll address it.
To learn more about plant/warehouse safety and how to train your employees to safely and effectively operate a forklift and avoid warehouse accidents and injuries, or if you’d like to learn more about earning American Forklift Training Centers, INC.’s forklift training and certification, Contact Us Today!