Elon Musk’s companies are groundbreaking on many fronts—from SpaceX launching the world’s largest rocket, to Tesla improving the viability of renewable energy through the development and deployment of large-scale batteries. Now, Tesla is announcing its ambitions to become the safest factory in the world, and it’s doing so in some interesting ways.
In an article for Teslarati, Simon Alvarez explains how the iconic company—perhaps best known for its work with electronic cars—seeks to set itself apart from other manufacturers in the way it handles safety. “Tesla’s safety plan covers several aspects of its factories’ operations, from the training of new employees to the compensation injured workers receive after incurring work-related injuries.”
Not Waiting for an Accident to Address Safety Concerns
Many companies implement industry best practices when it comes to safety and then only revisit their safety practices in the event of a workplace accident or injury. Tesla has decided to take a more proactive approach. “In the Model 3 production line alone,” Alvarez writes, “a comment from one of the factory’s employees ultimately resulted in the implementation of new safety measures for workers in the assembly line. This, together with Tesla’s habit of observing how employees work even when no issues are occurring, positively impacts the company’s safety.”
Innovative Back to Work Policies
In many manufacturing settings, employees returning from an injury are initially placed in a less strenuous role than their original position. The idea behind this practice is that they will benefit from some active recovery while still performing job duties. The problem is that these employees are often paid at the wage—typically lower—that the “recovery” position pays, as opposed to their previous wage.
While Tesla used to follow this same process, the company’s updated Return to Work program has taken a different approach. Injured workers are still given less demanding work to do, but they don’t see any changes in their compensation. As Alvarez writes, “In the event that Tesla cannot accommodate the recovering worker in the factory, the employee will be temporarily asked to render hours in nonprofits like the YMCA, libraries, or even food pantries, where they will be paid their regular salary.”
Investing in Innovation
Elon Musk is known for his innovative ventures. But innovation doesn’t have to be focused solely on the development of new technology. Innovation in addressing safety issues can also drive success and brand value for companies—drawing both customers and employees through their doors.