Elon Musk Calls Media Coverage “Truly Shameful” Amidst Revelations of Tesla Robot Attack at Giga Texas

An investigative report by The Information has exposed a series of workplace injuries at Tesla’s Giga Texas factory, with a particularly alarming incident involving a robot attack on an engineer that occurred two years ago. The incident has ignited discussions on workplace safety challenges and risks associated with the increasing integration of automation in manufacturing.

Responding to the report, Elon Musk criticized the media, calling it “truly shameful” to bring up an injury from two years ago. He explained that a standard industrial Kuka robot arm, found in all factories, was involved in the incident and implied that the information was inaccurate. Musk dismissed the implication that the incident was due to the recently revealed Optimus system.

The specific incident occurred in 2021 when an engineer unwittingly started work on three robots at Giga Texas. Only two were powered down, and the third continued its operation, leading to a hazardous situation. The engineer was pinned against a surface by the robot’s claws, resulting in injuries that caused bleeding. Swift action, including the activation of an emergency stop button by a co-worker, allowed the engineer to escape the robot’s grasp.

Concerns arise over the frequency of safety inspections by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at Tesla’s Austin factory. Despite Tesla filing an injury report, OSHA inspected the factory only once a year in 2021 and 2022, raising questions about safety measures. The report indicates a higher injury rate at the Austin factory compared to other auto plants.

This incident brings attention to the broader issue of workplace safety as companies increasingly integrate automation. The report also highlights concerns raised by the CDC’s Center for Occupational Robotics Research, predicting a potential rise in fatalities due to the increasing use of industrial robots in the United States. As Tesla pursues ambitious manufacturing goals at Giga Texas, the incident underscores the critical need for enhanced safety measures and more frequent inspections to protect workers from potential risks associated with automated processes.

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