Rivian responds to experiences of bedbugs at Regular plant

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Rivian responds to reports of bedbugs at Normal plant

Mateusz Janik,

Brendan Denison

NORMAL – Rivian Automotive is taking action following reports of bed bugs in an area of ​​its Normal manufacturing facility, the company confirmed on Friday.

Zach Dietmeier, Rivian’s senior manager of plant communication and policy, said in an email that the company had received reports of forklift failures in a remote area of ​​the facility.

“These affected teams have been notified,” Dietmeier said in the email. “We investigate each report and take appropriate action in accordance with our pest control company.”

Bed bugs are tiny pests that can cause itchy bites but don’t transmit diseases. They spread easily but are often difficult and expensive to eliminate.

Don’t fall asleep yet. Maybe they should be called bed blood bugs, an army of these can attack a person 500 times in one night!

#NationalGeographic #bedbugs #parasites

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Rivian hired a professional pest control company, said Dietmeier. All forklifts in the affected area have been quarantined and treated, and other forklifts and tugs will receive preventive treatment this weekend, he said.

In addition, all transport shuttles have been treated and all storage locations will be treated by the end of the week, although no faults were found at either site, Dietmeier said.

A spokesman for the McLean County Health Department said it does not investigate bed bug complaints but will refer such complaints to the appropriate agency; in this case, workplace-related complaints would be addressed to the Occupational Safety and Health Authority.

An OSHA spokesman for the agency is aware of the concerns.

Posts about the situation circulated on Reddit this week. The Pantagraph was contacted Friday about the situation by several Rivian employees, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of concern for their jobs.



This photo, provided by a Rivian employee, shows a forklift with its seat covered in plastic.


SUPPLIED PHOTO

A worker described seeing several parked forklifts with signs saying “bugs, do not use” and plastic bags over the seats on Tuesday.

“No one really wants to bring bed bugs home,” the worker said. “I don’t know what would happen if someone actually brought bed bugs home… I doubt Rivian would pay for fumigation of personal property.”

Another worker told The Pantagraph that a worker had reported finding adult bed bugs on a forklift months ago.

That worker also said workers were told earlier this week the equipment had been treated, but additional checks of the forklifts showed more insects. The worker said it seemed like managers were more concerned with production than with employee health.

In an email sent to Rivian employees this week and confirmed by The Pantagraph, the company encouraged employees to report concerns.

“Due to our preventive measures and our investigations, the facilities are safe and remain open for production and events,” the email reads.

“We will continue to investigate reports as they come in,” it said. “Please remember that misinformation is harmful and violates our code of conduct.”

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Contact Mateusz Janik at (309) 820-3234. Follow Mateusz on Twitter:@mjanik99