Well that's something you don't usually hear about from a car company...:oops:


NORMAL — Rivian Automotive is taking action after reports of bedbugs in an area of its Normal manufacturing plant, the company confirmed Friday.
Zach Dietmeier, senior manager of plant communication and policy at Rivian, said in an email that the company received reports of bugs on forklifts in one isolated area of the plant.

“These impacted teams have been notified,” Dietmeier said in the email. “We investigate every report and take appropriate actions per our pest control contractor.”

Bedbugs are tiny pests that can cause itchy bites, but they do not carry disease. They spread easily, but are often difficult and expensive to eliminate.

Rivian has hired a professional pest control company, Dietmeier said. All forklifts in the affected area have been quarantined and treated, and other forklifts and tuggers will be treated this weekend as a preventative measure, he said.

Additionally, all transportation shuttles have been treated, and all warehouse spaces will be treated by the end of the week, although no bugs have been found in either location, Dietmeier said.

A spokesperson for the McLean County Health Department said it does not investigate bedbug complaints, but would refer such complaints to the appropriate agency; in this case, workplace-related complaints would be directed to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

An OSHA spokesperson from the agency is aware of the concerns.

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

One worker described seeing multiple forklifts parked on Tuesday with signs that said “Bedbugs, Do Not Use,” and plastic bags over the seats.

“Nobody really wants to bring bedbugs home,” the worker said. “Like, I don’t know what would happen if somebody did actually bring bedbugs home with them … I doubt Rivian would pay for fumigation of personal property.”

Another worker told The Pantagraph that an employee had reported finding adult bedbugs on a forklift months ago.

This employee also said workers were told earlier this week that the equipment had been treated, but additional checks of the forklifts revealed more of the insects. The worker said it seemed as though managers were more concerned with production than employees’ health.

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

“Because of our preventative measures and our investigations, the facilities are safe and will remain open for production and events,” the email said.

“We will continue to investigate reports as they come in,” it said. “Please remember that misinformation is harmful and goes against our Code of Conduct.”