In a disturbing development, a Tesla robot attacked an engineer at an electric car manufacturer's Texas factory. The software engineer suffered severe injuries when a malfunctioning robot, designed for transporting aluminum car parts, reportedly turned hostile.
The incident, which occurred two years ago and surfaced in a 2021 injury report, sheds light on safety concerns within the facility.
According to sources cited by The New York Post, the robot trapped the engineer, causing metal claws to pierce his back and arm, leaving a visible trail of blood on the factory floor. The engineer, responsible for programming robots tasked with cutting car parts, was involved in maintenance on two disabled robots. Unfortunately, a third robot, unintentionally left operational, led to the harrowing incident, as reported by witnesses to The Information.
While the injury report mentions a "laceration" on the engineer's left hand, it did not require him to take time off from work, suggesting the severity may not have been as intense as initially feared. Despite no documented robot-related injuries in 2021 or 2022, concerns have been raised about a safety culture lapse at the Texas factory.
Allegations from current and former Tesla employees at the facility point to a habitual practice of taking shortcuts in construction, maintenance, and operations, ultimately putting workers at risk. Sources from The Information reveal that the pressure for rapid production from management has led to compromising safety measures.
Witnesses have reported incidents of heavy machinery, including a crane, a steel beam, and an air conditioning duct, falling dangerously close to workers on car production lines. In one instance, a worker suffered a head injury from a falling metal object, resulting in an 85-day work absence, according to The Information.
Additionally, Tesla employees have recounted incidents of forklifts colliding with workers on the assembly floor, further raising concerns about the overall safety culture within the factory. As the details of this incident come to light, questions about workplace safety at Tesla's Austin factory continue to be a topic of scrutiny.