Tesla Robot Attacks Engineer, Blood On Factory Floor

On November 10, 2021, at Tesla’s Giga Texas factory near Austin, a malfunctioning robot reportedly attacked a software engineer. Witnesses described the scene where the robot, designed to handle freshly cast aluminum car parts, pinned the engineer and inflicted injuries to his back and arm, leaving a trail of blood on the factory floor.

Tesla Robot Attacks Engineer, Blood On Factory Floor

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According to reports, the engineer was programming software for robots responsible for cutting car parts from newly cast aluminum pieces.

While two robots were intentionally disabled for maintenance, a third one was left operational, leading to the unexpected attack on the engineer. The incident, disclosed in a 2021 injury report filed by Tesla with Travis County and federal regulators.

Witnesses reported that the engineer was immobilized by the robot, which clamped its metal claws into the victim’s back and arm. The attack resulted in a trail of blood on the factory floor.

The engineer managed to break free from the robot’s grip only after a response from a colleague who pressed the emergency stop button.

However, the engineer’s attempt to escape led to a fall down a chute intended for collecting scrap aluminum.

The incident left the engineer with an open wound on his left hand, as indicated in the injury report submitted to federal and Travis County health authorities.

Surprisingly, Tesla claimed that the injuries did not require the engineer to take any time off work. As reports suggest a culture of safety lapses at the facility.

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Injury reports submitted to the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicate a high injury rate at Giga Texas, with nearly one in 21 workers reported injured in the previous year. This rate surpasses the median injury rate of one in 30 workers in the automotive industry.

Critics, including current and former Tesla workers, have alleged that the company compromises on construction, maintenance, and operational safety, putting employees at risk.

An attorney representing Tesla’s Giga Texas contract workers, Hannah Alexander, expressed concerns about under reporting of injuries.

She suggested that Tesla’s reports to authorities may not accurately reflect the true extent of injuries, citing conversations with factory workers as evidence.

Alexander said a case in 2022 where a water submerged in molten aluminum incident caused an explosion in the castings area, resulting in a sonic boom-like sound.

She also mentioned a worker’s death on September 28, 2021, identified as Antelmo Ramírez, who reportedly died of heat stroke while helping build Tesla’s Giga Texas factory.

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According to Alexander, the death and related injuries may not be accurately show in Tesla’s submissions for tax incentives.

Last year, the Workers Defense Project filed a complaint on behalf of Giga Texas workers with OSHA, alleging that Tesla’s contractors and subcontractors provided false safety certificates.

Previous investigations have concerns about Tesla misclassifying on the job accidents and injuries as personal medical cases to avoid regulations.

Elon Musk took to social media to address the incident and criticize the media for sensationalizing the situation.

Musk defended his company’s use of industrial robots, stating that the incident involved a simple industrial Kuka robot arm, a common component found in all factories. He rejected any link between the incident and his Optimus robots.

Musk’s Optimus robots, unveiled last year, are designed to perform manual labor and contribute to what he envisions as a future of abundance. Despite Musk’s optimism about the role of automation in creating abundance and eliminating poverty.

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