U.S. Markets open in 8 hrs 43 mins

Some Tesla employees say they were ordered to walk through raw sewage during Model 3 ramp-up (TSLA)

Mark Matousek
tesla fremont factory

Tesla


  • Four Tesla employees said they had walked through raw sewage over fear of causing production delays, Bloomberg reports.
  • A Tesla representative told Business Insider the company was not aware of any instances in which managers told employees they had to walk through sewage to avoid production delays.
  • Concerns have been raised about worker safety at the Fremont, California, factory where Tesla assembles its vehicles.

Four Tesla employees have described walking through raw sewage over fear of causing production delays, Bloomberg reports.

A worker in the paint shop named Dennis Duran told the publication he and some of his colleagues were ordered to walk through sewage that spilled onto the floor at the Fremont, California, factory where Tesla assembles its vehicles to keep production moving, despite their hesitations.

"Four current employees say the pressure they felt to avoid delays forced them to walk through raw sewage when it spilled onto the floor," Bloomberg said. "Dennis Duran, who works in the paint shop, says that one time when workers balked, he and his peers were told: 'Just walk through it. We have to keep the line going.'"

A Tesla representative told Business Insider the company was not aware of any instances in which managers told employees they had to walk through sewage to avoid production delays.

"Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our employees," the representative said.

"This is not to say that there aren't real issues that need to be dealt with at Tesla or that we've made no mistakes with any of the 40,000 people who work at our company. However, there should be absolutely no question that we care deeply about the well-being of our employees and that we try our absolute hardest to do the right thing and to fail less often. With each passing month, we improve safety further and will keep doing so until we have the safest factory in the world by far."

Concerns have been raised about worker safety at the Fremont factory. California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health has three open investigations into Tesla, though an agency representative told Business Insider it was not able to disclose the content of complaints that lead to investigations.

In April, the Center for Investigative Reporting published a report saying Tesla had misreported workplace injuries and failed to take some safety measures at the Fremont factory.

That report said Tesla failed to report injuries employees incurred while at work or mislabeled them, avoided some safety markings for aesthetic reasons, and insufficiently trained some employees for dangerous work. It added that California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health had logged more than 40 violations from Tesla since 2013.

The investigative-journalism outlet said it interviewed more than three dozen current and former Tesla employees and reviewed hundreds of pages of documents, including internal records and correspondence related to injury reporting.

In a blog post, Tesla denied the allegations in the report, calling it "a completely false picture of Tesla and what it is actually like to work here" and "an ideologically motivated attack by an extremist organization working directly with union supporters to create a calculated disinformation campaign against Tesla."

You can read Bloomberg's full story here.

If you've worked for Tesla and have a story to share, you can contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.

NOW WATCH: An early investor in Airbnb and Uber explains why he started buying bitcoin in 2009

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Elon Musk says he will help pay to fix the water in any house in Flint, Michigan that exceeds the FDA's accepted contamination levels