Tesla's HR chief is out after claims of labor violations, backed up by a new report

Tesla has been accused of labor violations in the past, and a new report supports those claims.

Workers at Elon Musk's sustainable automaker suffered 8.8 injuries per 100 employees in 2015 — 31 percent more than their peers at other factories.

The numbers are even worse for serious injuries at Tesla's Fremont plant, the focal point of its labor issues. Serious injuries that result in days away from work, restricted duty, or job transfer occurred at that plant at double the industry rate in 2015, with 7.9 per 100 compared to the industry average 3.9.

The report, by the workplace safety organization Worksafe and based on safety logs requested by Tesla workers, came out the same day BuzzFeed reported that Tesla's head of human resources, Arnnon Geshuri, would leave the company. As HR chief, Geshuri in part oversaw the working conditions that have been seen as unsafe.

"The reason we asked for Tesla's safety log is simple. We see people getting injured in the plant on a regular basis — people who do the same sorts of jobs that we do," Jonathan Galescu, a Tesla body repair technician, said in Worksafe's report. "We want to know — in fact, we need to know — the facts about how often workers are getting injured, and how those injuries are happening. It took us several attempts just to get management to give us the information they're required by law to provide. It shouldn't have to be that way. Workers shouldn't have to risk retaliation just to learn more about safety in the workplace."

Worksafe's report arrives after Tesla told The Guardianthat its injury rates had declined in the first quarter of 2017.

"We may have had some challenges in the past as we were learning how to become a car company, but what matters is the future and with the changes we've made, we now have the lowest injury rate in the industry by far. Our goal is to have as close to zero injuries as humanly possible and to become the safest factory in the auto industry," a Tesla spokesperson said in response to the report.

Worksafe determined that those 2017 numbers were too preliminary to suggest meaningful change in Tesla's working conditions.

Instead, the group found that injuries at Tesla continue to far outpace injuries at automakers nationwide. In 2016, Tesla's 8.8 injuries per 100 employees rate from 2015 declined to 8.1 — still far above the industry standard.

Jack Morse contributed reporting.

RELATED: The world's top 10 companies, ranked by reputation

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The world's top 10 companies, ranked by reputation
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The world's top 10 companies, ranked by reputation

10. Adidas. RepTrack Points: 77.3

2016 proved to be a good year for the German sportswear company, which beat earnings expectations to report net income of more than $1 billion.

The year was the first in its 2020 strategic plan, which put in place by CEO Kasper Rorsted, who wants the company to boost ecommerce sales, increase efficiency, and focus on company culture.

Adidas launched collaborations with celebrities including Kanye West, Pharrell, and Rita Ora to boost awareness of its brand.

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

9. Rolls-Royce Aerospace. RepTrack points: 77.7

Rolls-Royce is one of the few traditional manufacturing B2B companies in the ranking.

The company produces the engines for a number of commercial airliners, such as the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787.

The company is keen to work on new technologies too. This March it announced plans to invest in a R&D center in Finland to develop technology for autonomous shipping.

Photographer: Luke Macgregor/Bloomberg via Getty Images

8. Intel. RepTrack points: 77.7

Intel became a staple in the technology industry as the leading manufacturer of chipsets for desktop and laptop computers.

Despite missing the mobile phone revolution, Intel is getting back on track. It was rumored Intel powered the iPhone 7. CEO Brian Krzanich has also said the company would be investing further in 5G and connectivity. The company kicked off 2017 with the $15.3 billion acquisition of the autonomous-driving company Mobileye.

(JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

7. Sony. RepTrack points: 77.7.

Sony successfully got rid of its underperforming VAIO computer brand last year to focus on its more successful products.

2016 saw the launch of its virtual reality headset for the Playstation gaming console, where it owns over 50% of the market. Unknown to many, Sony is also the company making the camera sensors for a number of leading smartphones, including the iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7.

Its Sony Motion Pictures division had strong box office hits in 2016 with the relaunch of the "Ghostbusters" franchise and" The Angry Birds Movie."

Its Sony Music division has artists like Beyonce, A$AP Rocky, and Calvin Harris among its roster.

REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

6. Bosch. RepTrack points: 78.1.

German engineering and electronics company Bosch used 2016 to solidify its positions in Internet of Things and software.

In October 2016 the company demoed its autonomous driving software and hardware and also announced it would be building its own cloud computing offering to compete with Amazon and Google.

REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

5. Google. RepTrack points: 78.2.

Google's RepTrak score went up but it still dropped down from its third-place spot in the rankings in 2015.

2016 was the first full year since the launch of the new parent company Alphabet. It was also the year the tech company announced its new Pixel phone line and its voice-controlled speaker Home, which aims to bring artificial intelligence to the masses.

Alphabet also made a push into VR with the launch of its Daydream headset.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

4. Canon. RepTrack points: 78.3.

Canon was awarded nearly 4,000 patents in 2016, coming in third behind IBM and Samsung.

The world's biggest maker of cameras and printers grew through acquisitions in 2016, such as its $6.5 billion purchase of Toshiba's medical division.

REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

3. The Walt Disney Company. RepTrak points: 79.2.

Disney slipped down a spot in the 2016 rankings but its reputation score grew by a full point.

2016 was the year the company started to see the fruits from the acquisition of the "Star Wars" franchise with "The Force Awakens" continuing its box office tear into January and the release of "Rogue One" in December, which went on to gross over $1 billion at the box office. The company recently revealed it had enough "Star Wars" films to run all the way into 2030.

It also announced it was extending the contract of its CEO Bob Iger until 2019.

2. Lego. RepTrak points: 79.5.

Lego was the biggest winner in the brand reputation rankings in 2016, rising up to second from its sixth spot the previous year.

While the toy company's competitors Hasbro and Mattel had mixed results, Lego has been on a great streak of performance. From 2010 to 2015 the company's revenues more than doubled and sales increased by 6% in 2016

It also announced the appointment of the company's first non-Danish CEO, Bali Padda.

REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

1. Rolex. RepTrak points: 78.4

Rolex's position as the most reputable brand in the world is due to its incredibly high reputation for products and services. It was in the top 10 for every category in those areas.

The luxury market struggled in 2016, growing only 1%, but the Swiss watch brand successfully withstood the test of the Apple Watch, which launched with a luxury edition.

Last year, Rolxes announced its first watch in over 60 years with a moonphase complication, which makes sure it stays accurate for 122 years without adjustment. It also tells the current lunar phase.

The luxury watch brand was founded in London in 1905 before moving operations to Switzerland at the end of World War I.

REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
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