Rivian Workers File Complaints Over Safety Regulation Oversights at Illinois Plant

Rivian R1T 7 photos
Photo: Rivian
Rivian R1TRivian R1SRivian R1SRivian R1T assembly line at the Illinois facilityRivian workers at the Illinois R1T facilityRJ Scaringe, chairman and CEO of Rivian Automotive Inc.
It seems that some car companies can’t escape trouble. Rivian is one of them, but this time it’s not dealing with recalls, further delays, or headlight issues.
The company is now facing the wrath of some of its employees at the Normal, Illinois plant, currently the brand’s only operational one. According to Bloomberg, “at least a dozen” Rivian employees are accusing the automaker of safety violations resulting in many injuries, among which a sliced ear and some broken ribs.

Complaints filed over the last two months with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration revealed that the company has cut corners while ramping up its electric vehicle production.

Additionally, some workers even had to resort to sharing respirators during the manufacturing process due to the company deprioritizing safety resources. Rivian mentioned it’s not aware of “any manager directing employees to share respirators” via an email statement.

Some examples of the dangers at Rivian’s production plant include trucks veering into pedestrian isles, near misses with employees, and defective truck locking sensors that would give a false sense of security.

In one instance, some employees were even told by management to use damaged electrical cables fished out of the trash, according to an employee. A Rivian spokesperson declined to comment on any of the specifics, noted Bloomberg.

If workers are being hurt, it is evidence that the factory management is not doing its job in ensuring that operations are being performed properly,” said David Michaels, former Assistant Secretary of Labor for the OSHA and current professor at George Washington University’s public health school.

These reported injuries reflect poor management control of production processes, suggesting that the quality of the factory’s output will also be suboptimal,” Michaels added.

Given the company had the sixth biggest initial public offering in U.S. history last November and is also backed by giants such as Amazon and Ford, it seems there’s a lot of work to be done at its “state-of-the-art manufacturing facility” in Normal, Illinois.
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