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Tesla factory injury rate higher than industry average, said new report

  • Tesla injury rates exceeded the industry average in 2015.
  • Reports of more-serious injuries were double those for the total automotive sector.
  • The trend could be repeated, once the 2016 numbers for the auto industry are released.
Workers assemble cars on the line at Tesla's factory in Fremont.
David Butow | Corbis | Getty Images
Workers assemble cars on the line at Tesla's factory in Fremont.

Tesla workers at the company's Fremont plant were injured at a rate higher than the industry average in 2015, and the numbers could be much the same for 2016, according to a new report from a California nonprofit.

Tesla's Fremont plant had 8.8 injuries per 100 workers in 2015, compared to 6.7 for the auto industry as a whole, according to a report released Wednesday from Worksafe, a group "whose mission is to prevent injury, illness, and death by bringing justice to the workplace."

That is a difference of 31 percent.

"We may have had some challenges in the past as we were learning how to become a car company, but what matters is the future, and with the changes we've made, we now have the lowest injury rate in the industry by far," a Tesla representative told CNBC. "Our goal is to have as close to zero injuries as humanly possible and to become the safest factory in the auto industry."

Industry-wide injury statistics are not yet available for 2016, but Tesla's rate last year was 8.1 per 100 employees, which Worksafe said is likely to exceed the relatively stable rates across the rest of the field.

The report also said rate injuries that result in days away from work, restricted duty, or job transfer — was approximately double the industry rate for 2015.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk told the Guardian last week that Tesla's safety record has improved over the last year, and that he cares about his employees' well-being.

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