NEW YORK: In a shocking incident at Tesla’s Giga Texas factory near Austin, a Tesla engineer lost his life when a robot, intended for routine tasks, turned violent due to a malfunction. The engineer was reportedly pinned by two disabled Tesla robots, and one, designed for handling aluminum vehicle parts, unexpectedly attacked, causing severe injuries.
The unsettling episode unfolded as the machine, tasked with moving freshly cast components, turned on its human operator, leaving a trail of blood in its wake. The injured engineer, with visible wounds on the back and arm, left a distressing “trail of blood” within the factory premises.
Eyewitnesses, fellow employees at the factory, were horrified as the robot pinned the engineer, who was in the midst of programming software for disabled Tesla robots nearby. The metal claws of the malfunctioning machine sank into the worker’s back and arm, resulting in an open wound on his left hand, according to a 2021 injury report filed with Travis County and federal regulators.
Workplace Injuries at Tesla’s Giga Texas
While the report claimed the engineer did not require time off work, concerns are mounting over potential underreporting of workplace injuries at the Giga Texas facility. One attorney representing Tesla’s contract workers at Giga Texas, Hannah Alexander of the nonprofit Workers Defense Project, has expressed skepticism, asserting that injuries, including a fatal incident in September 2021, may not be accurately reflected in the submitted reports.
Alexander highlighted the death of a construction worker, Antelmo Ramírez, who succumbed to heat stroke while contributing to the construction of Tesla’s expansive Giga Texas factory. Despite the tragedy, the incident did not find mention in the official injury reports submitted by Tesla to authorities.
The robot attack incident adds to a growing list of concerns surrounding the integration of automated technology in the workplace. Instances of injuries related to robotic coworkers in various industries, ranging from Amazon shipment centers to self-driving cars, have prompted a reevaluation of the safety protocols and oversight surrounding the use of robotics.