In a shocking incident at Tesla’s Giga Texas factory near Austin, a malfunctioning robot attacked a Tesla engineer, leaving a ‘trail of blood’ on the factory floor. The attack occurred during a malfunction as the robot, designed to handle freshly cast aluminum car parts, unexpectedly activated.
Two employees witnessed the horrifying incident unfold as the robot pinned the engineer, who was programming software for disabled Tesla robots nearby. The metal claws of the robot left the worker with an ‘open wound’ on his left hand. The details of the incident were disclosed in a 2021 injury report filed with Travis County and federal regulators.
Concerns about the risks associated with automated robots in the workplace have been on the rise in recent years, with incidents reported at various workplaces involving injuries caused by robotic systems. Amazon shipment centers, self-driving cars, and even robotic chess instructors have faced scrutiny for safety concerns.
The injury report, a requirement for Tesla to maintain tax breaks in Texas, indicated that the engineer did not take time off work. However, an attorney representing Tesla’s Giga Texas contract workers expressed concerns about potential underreporting of injuries at the factory. The attorney cited a fatality in September 2021, where a construction worker named Antelmo Ramírez died of heat stroke while contributing to the construction of Tesla’s Giga Texas factory.
The Workers Defense Project, on behalf of Giga Texas workers, filed a complaint with the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) last year, alleging that Tesla’s contractors and subcontractors provided false safety certificates.
Despite this specific robot-related incident occurring two years ago, reports suggest an overall culture of safety lapses at Giga Texas, with injury rates significantly higher than the industry median. Tesla declined to comment on the incident, raising concerns about the true extent of safety issues at the facility.