Tesla Under OSHA Investigation for Worker Safety

Fortune reports that Cal/OSHA has opened an investigation into Tesla and workplace hazards at its Fremont factory, in the midst of an aggressive move by CEO Elon Musk to run the plant around the clock to meet production targets for its new Model 3 electric vehicle.

The investigation comes just days after the Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal published a lengthy report about worker safety at Tesla’s Fremont factory, where the Model S sedan, Model X SUV, and new mass-market Model 3 is produced. The report uncovered evidence that Tesla had underreported worker injuries to regulators.

However, it’s not clear if the Reveal report or a complaint from a Tesla employee prompted OSHA to launch its investigation. An OSHA spokeswoman said in a statement emailed to Fortune that the agency has an open inspection at Tesla, stating, “Cal/OSHA takes seriously reports of workplace hazards and allegations of employers’ underreporting recordable work-related injuries and illnesses on the Log 300″, referring to the mandated reports that Tesla must submit.

According to Fortune, Tesla tried to downplay the investigation, saying in a statement that ”Cal/OSHA is required to investigate any claims that are made, regardless of whether they have merit or are baseless (as we believe these are), and we always provide our full cooperation.”

The automaker compared its injury rates to operations at the factory when it was operated by Toyota and GM. Tesla’s Fremont factory is the former Nummi plant jointly owned by Toyota and General Motors that produced nearly 430,000 vehicles at its peak.

Tesla also noted that last year Cal/OSHA investigated Tesla’s injury reporting and record-keeping was closed without any violations found and without any further action taken.