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Is Elon Musk Becoming a Super Villain?

Between being mired in production hell, a Tesla Model S recall, crashing stock prices, and a 17% decrease in Elon Musk’s net worth, Tesla is having a rough month. However, Elon Musk’s slightly diminished coffers pales in comparison to recent allegations in a report from Reveal News and The Center for Investigative Reporting. The report shed light on a number of workplace injuries that occurred at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, CA, many of which Tesla is allegedly omitting from official reports.

A recent workplace injury that left a factory worker hospitalized has prompted an investigation by California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health. These injuries are horrifying enough in and of themselves, but they take on a new tenor when you read the report’s claims that Tesla eschews established safety guidelines like having prominent yellow safety lines and clearly marked pedestrian lanes or letting forklifts beep while they are operating because Elon Musk doesn’t like the color yellow or constant beeping.

Tesla, however, did not take the report lightly. They responded in not-so-kind on their website, calling the Reveal report “an ideologically motivated attack by an extremist organization working directly with union supporters to create a calculated disinformation campaign against Tesla.”

Yikes. That still doesn’t change the fact that Tesla’s safety record has been abysmal, with 31% more safety incidents at their Fremont plant than the industry average in 2015. According to the Los Angeles Times, slaughterhouses, sawmills, and psychiatric hospitals all had lower rates of safety incidents than Tesla. It is a cause for concern for many employees, as well as outside entities like United Automobile Workers, who want to unionize Tesla’s workforce, something that Musk is vehemently against.

Hopefully instead of continuing to sleep on a couch on the Tesla factory floor, Elon Musk will wake up and realize he needs to do what is best for his workers in order to ensure a brighter, safer future for employees and consumers alike.

Image: Tesla

Also on today’s episode of Muskwatch: SpaceX might be building the BFR, the gigantic rocket that will one day take humans to Mars, right here in Los Angeles; plus, we give you the latest on TESS, the new planet-hunting tool that NASA is using to detect exoplanets.

Muskwatch airs on Nerdist.com and YouTube every Tuesdaybut you can watch all new episodes two full days earlier on Sunday if you’re an Alpha subscriber. If you’re not already, find out how you can get 30 days free right here.

What do you think of this week’s biggest Musk stories? What would you like to see us explore on the next Muskwatch? Let us know in the comments below!

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