Brandenburg Health Minister Ursula Nonnemacher (Greens) shared a firm rejection of the claims suggested in an expose from German publication Stern. The publication had alleged that Giga Berlin had a notably high injury rate for its employees, and authorities were reportedly all too willing to hide issues with the plant.
In her comments, Nonnemacher denied the allegations of the publication’s report. She argued that Tesla is treated like any other carmaker in Germany. In fact, the minister noted that Tesla is probably one of the most evaluated car companies in the area.
“We treat Tesla like any other company. They don’t get any discounts or preferential treatment… I can assure you that there is no company or large construction site in all of Brandenburg that has been checked more intensively and frequently than the Tesla construction site,” Nonnemacher said.
The German publication had stated that in the year following Giga Berlin’s launch, emergency service operations were requested 247 times. The minister, however, noted that she finds it dubious to equate emergency service operations with accidents at work. Tesla has 11,500 workers in the area, which is almost the size of a medium-sized town in Brandenburg, as noted in a Tagesspiegel report.
Yup— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 4, 2023
With such a headcount, the minister noted that medical incidents would happen, such as blood pressure imbalances, heart attacks, dizziness, fever, and nausea. That being said, the Ministry of Health has noted that there have been seven serious accidents on the Giga Berlin site since 2020, three of which involved Tesla employees.
Marian Mischke, head of the occupational safety department at the State Office for Occupational Safety, Consumer Protection and Health (LAVG), noted that, for the most part, the incidents in Giga Berlin appear to have been minor. “For the most part, these are minor accidents caused by stumbling, falling, and hitting something. No indications of inadequate occupational safety organization were identified,” Mischke said.
Mischke also shared some details about Giga Berlin’s inspections. “During the construction phase, the Tesla plant was inspected weekly, and in the meantime, inspections take place about every two weeks. In addition, there are ad hoc inspections every six to eight weeks without prior notice. In 2021, there were a total of 48 inspections at Tesla, 40 last year and 19 so far this year,” Mischke noted.
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