Worker advocacy group report says Tesla's injury rate higher than average

Wed May 24, 2017 8:10pm EDT
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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A California-based workers advocacy group released a report on Wednesday saying that Tesla Inc (TSLA.O: Quote) data showed its workers have been injured at a rate a third higher than the auto industry average.

Worksafe made the analysis after being approached by the United Auto Workers, the Detroit-based union that has been talking to Tesla employees about organizing. (

Tesla is the only U.S.-based automaker without union representation.

Tesla responded to the report by saying its accident rate in the first quarter of 2017 was 32 percent better than the industry average.

"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," said Tesla in a statement. 

One change was adding a third shift, which Tesla said led to a 30 percent drop in recordable incidents in the first quarter of 2017 from a year earlier.

Worksafe said the first-quarter data was preliminary and not enough to show a trend.

Tesla said in a May 14 blog that the union was using questions about safety as part of an organizing drive. (

The UAW, which put the report on the front page of its website, declined comment.   Continued...

FILE PHOTO: A Tesla logo hangs on a building outside of a Tesla dealership in New York, U.S., April 29, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo