With National Workplace Injury Expenses Rising, Elon Musk Under a Microscope

About 85% of urgent care centers are open seven days a week. These medical facilitates treat everything from sports injuries to severe illnesses. For years, employees across the country who were injured on the job were forced to visit emergency rooms and urgent care centers for immediate medial assistance.

According to Bloomberg, Tesla chief executive officer (CEO) Elon Musk announced that his company is essentially doing great in terms of workplace injuries. However, shareholders are demanding a little more information as his claims were given without specifics or sources to back any of the data up.

Musk claimed that Tesla’s rate of injuries per person is actually 6% below the 2018 industry average. Additionally, Musk added that the company was “a little bit above” average last year. He then proceeded to declare that he hopes to lower the rate of Tesla’s workplace injury per person to lower than half of the auto industry’s average, but didn’t outline how this would be achieved.

Last year, at Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting, Musk announced that the company’s injury rate was actually 32% below the auto industry average.

“It takes a lot more to correct a systemic safety problem in a large company than just the CEO telling everyone to be safer,” said Jordan Barab, who severed as deputy assistant security at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under President Obama. “I’d have a lot of questions for him, like what’s changed about their safety program.”

On a national scale, the number one cause of workplace injuries can be attributed to slips, trips, and falls: causing approximately 12,000 workplace injuries per year. Though Musk’s employees aren’t working at exceptionally high heights compared to other manufacturing industries, there are still plenty of risk factors involved in the automotive sector.

“Injury rates are complex, and so it’s difficult to judge on the basis of a statement saying it’s 6% lower,” said David Michaels, who served as U.S. assistant secretary of labor for OSHA during the Obama administration. “I’d want to see the rates, but also the data on which they’re based.”

According to Insurance Business America, the national cost of serious workplace injury is on the rise.

The most recent Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index found that the number of the most serious workplace injuries and illnesses has fallen 1.5% since 2017, but the overall medical expenses and lost-wage-payments has increased by 2.9%.

Here are Liberty Mutual’s top causes of major injuries within American workplaces:

  • Overexertion
  • Repetitive motions involve micro tasks
  • Slips, trips, and falls on same level and falling to a lower level
  • Struck by objects or equipment
  • Stuck underneath or against object or heavy equipment
  • Caught inside a piece of heavy machinery
  • Other exertions or bodily reactions
  • Roadway incidents involving motor vehicles

“The annual ranking helps employers, risk managers and safety professionals improve workplace safety by highlighting its financial impact and focusing resources on the leading causes of serious work-related injuries and illnesses,” added James Merendino, general manager of risk control for national insurance.

Merendino believes that in order to improve workplace safety, managers and business owners like Musk need to first understand what causes injuries among their workforce. Only then can proper training and prevention be implemented to reduce risks to both workers and the business.

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