Several Tesla employees were sent to the hospital Monday after a large chemical spill was reported at the electric company’s Nevada gigafactory.
Large sections of the company’s massive factory were evacuated after a vat of “standard construction cleaning solvent” was spilled, according to company officials.
Nine employees reported symptoms such as upset stomachs after being exposed to the chemical, Joe Curtis, a Storey County, Nevada emergency operations director, told reporters Monday. They were transferred to a local hospital for further evaluation.
“There was no threat to the public, no plumes or anything,” Curtis added. The fire department was on the scene Monday afternoon identifying the spilled hazardous material.
Tesla did not respond to requests for comment.
The spill comes after employees at Tesla’s California factory in February complained of being overworked in dangerous working conditions.
Tesla employee Jose Moran said the factory’s “machinery is often not ergonomically compatible with our bodies,” and requires “too much twisting and turning and extra physical movement to do jobs that could be simplified if workers’ input were welcomed,” in a Medium piece earlier this year.
Moran also complained that Tesla CEO Elon Musk works employees’ long hours with little compensation.
Musk, for his part, suggested shortly afterward that Moran, who works as a production assistant, was a union plant working to disrupt the company’s working environment.
“Our understanding is that this guy was paid by the UAW to join Tesla and agitate for a union,” the Tesla boss told Gizmodo in March. “Frankly, I find this attack to be morally outrageous. Tesla is the last car company left in California, because costs are so high.”
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