Tesla's Factory in Germany Is Making Cars Without a Functioning Fire Alarm System

Tesla is already making cars at the Giga Grünheide factory, but that does not mean the plant is ready. RBB reported that the company still lacks a working fire alarm system, which the district of Oder-Spree considers mandatory for a factory to be active. Although the system is not working, authorities said it was secured with a provisional concept, whatever that means.
Tesla Giga Gruenheide 9 photos
Photo: Tesla
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RBB first reported that in September, but the German outlet remembered that episode when it talked about new issues involving the plant. RBB revealed that the Brandenburg Ministry of Health inspectors discovered Tesla did not offer adequate dust protection measures to its employees in an occupational safety inspection in 2021. The report only became public recently.

We heard about similar issues. On June 27, the company faced the leakage of a carcinogenic powder at Giga Grünheide. Logistic workers and firefighters who dealt with it were not informed about what the powder was and had no masks to prevent breathing that dust.

What the Brandenburg Ministry of Health inspectors found out is pretty much a repetition of what happened on June 27, even if on a more regular basis. According to their report, the working environment inside Giga Grünheide involved dealing with mineral dust with different quartz contents. That dust can cause something called silico-tuberculosis. People with silicosis are usually more prone to develop tuberculosis, and that association can be really troublesome. There is also a risk of developing lung cancer.

According to RBB, Tesla workers did not use low-dust working methods and had regular vacuum cleaners to deal with hazardous dust, which demanded special dust collectors. Surprisingly, the inspectors concluded that the employees were instructed about that, but that foreign workers were not familiar with those regulations and precautions. Tesla had 800 of these foreign employees working on Giga Grünheide at the end of 2021. RBB did not report if Tesla was fined or sanctioned in any way.

The lack of a working fire alarm system is just the most recent example of how incomplete Giga Grünheide is. That is important because Tesla insisted for months that it had everything ready to start working. According to the American EV maker, it was German bureaucracy that was preventing it from doing so.

According to jaberwock, a Twitter user that follows Tesla’s steps in Grünheide, the company still lacks a hazardous waste building apart from the fire station. The wastewater plant still needs work: wastewater “was collected in rectangular tanks and taken to a temporary facility in a tent for treatment” at least until October. The tank farm, intended for storing liquids such as gear oil, windshield fluid, coolant, and AC fluid, was recently completed but is still not operating. Jaberwock believes it still needs a spill containment system.

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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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