A Tesla software engineer working on factory robots at Elon Musk’s Austin, Texas, plant suffered serious injuries due to an unexpected attack by a malfunctioning robot. The robot reportedly grabbed the man by his arm and back, leaving a trail of blood on the factory floor. The newly revealed incident is part of a troubling trend of injured and sick Tesla factory workers.
The New York Post reports that a routine day at Tesla’s Austin factory turned alarming when a software engineer, while working on the factory floor, was seriously injured by a production robot. Designed to handle aluminum car parts, the robot suffered a malfunction in which it pinned the engineer, inflicting injuries with its metal claws and leaving a trail of blood smeared on the floor.
The incident, which occurred two years ago but has recently come to light based on an investigation by The Information, involved the engineer programming software for robots tasked with cutting car parts from sheets of aluminum. While two robots were appropriately disabled for maintenance, a third robot was inadvertently left operational, leading to the unfortunate event.
The engineer, whose identity remains undisclosed, sustained a “laceration cut or open wound” on his left hand. Despite the severity of the incident, it reportedly did not necessitate time off work for the engineer. This accident raises questions about the safety protocols in place, especially considering Tesla’s ambitious production goals and advanced automation.
In the past, Tesla’s Giga Texas factory has been flagged for safety concerns, with nearly one out of every 21 workers reported injured last year, a rate far higher than the automotive industry’s median.
Breitbart News reported in 2018 that Tesla workers are expressly forbidden to call 911 in the event of a factory injury without company permission. Instead, company doctors inspect the worker’s injuries and in many cases had the worker sent to a local hospital via Lyft ridesharing. This is the experience that one employee reportedly faced when their finger was severed while working at the company.
Injured employees have reportedly often been sent back to work with no modifications to duties whatsoever following visits to the on-site medical center. According to former clinic employees and medical records, some of these employees could barely walk when they were ordered to return to the assembly line.
Read more at the New York Post here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.