Federal and California mandates require companies to report injuries sustained at work. Injuries that are required to be reported are typically ones that require a worker to miss work for any amount of time, but ones that require simple first aid are not mandated to be reported. Recently, Tesla has been reported and investigated for underreporting multiple workplace injuries of its employees.
Tesla has been reported as having left off at least 13 mandated work injuries in 2017. Many of the injuries were added to their report following an investigation of another unreported injury of a worker. The company, like all others, is mandated to report certain injuries within seven days of their occurrence. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, underreporting is common and can prevent best practices to prevent future injuries.
When injuries occur and are reported, regulators such as OHSA are sent to the work site to investigate the events surrounding the accident and to recommend changes to improve employee safety. One accident that was not reported by Tesla involved a worker who suffered an injury to his or her face and arm. The injury resulted in three missed days at work and therefore was an injury that would have been mandated to be reported.
Workplace injuries can be serious and can result in temporary missed time at work or long-term absences. In addition to the pain and suffering endured following an injury, an employee’s way of life may be completely altered. Most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which often assists an employee with his or her medical expenses, lost income and other costs, but it is a difficult system. Many injured employees find an experienced California attorney helpful when filing a claim, and comfort knowing an advocate is on their side.
Source: revealnews.org, “Tesla left injuries off the books, but it might not face penalties“, Will Evans, May 23, 2018