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Tesla reports higher than average workers' compensation claims

Many who anticipate improved versions of electronic vehicles are closely watching the development of Tesla, Inc. The company's California plant is preparing to release the Model 3 by increasing production five-fold. However, workplace safety advocates are alarmed at the number of injuries and illnesses among employees at the plant. A rise in workers' compensation claims may mean the company is putting production above the safety of its employees.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires companies to report all injuries and work-related illnesses. Data compiled from these reports shows that in 2014 Tesla's incident rate was 15 percent higher than the national average for car manufacturers, and in 2015, the incident rate rose to 31 percent above average. Tesla's rate of serious injuries that required workers to miss shifts or restrict their duties was more than 100 percent higher than the national average.

While Tesla executives insist the data is inaccurate, reports have surfaced telling of grueling conditions in the California plant in which employees work long hours and frequently pass out on the job. Tesla spokespeople claim its rate of incidents has declined and that the company is committed to earning a reputation as the safest auto factory in the business. However, safety advocates say there is no identifiable decline in worker injuries according to the data.

Employers are obligated to provide safe environments for their workers. However, even when safety precautions are in place, injuries and job-related illnesses are always a possibility. Fortunately, employees have access to financial assistance through workers' compensation. With the help of an attorney, injured employees can work to obtain the benefits they deserve.

Source: businessinsider.com, "A new report slams Tesla working conditions, claims employees have suffered twice as many serious injuries", Danielle Muoio, May 24, 2017

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