SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk attends the U.S. Senate Bipartisan Forum on Artificial Intelligence at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on September 13, 2023.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images
According to Reuters, SpaceX employees are putting their lives on the line to meet the demanding pace of work demanded by CEO Elon Musk in preparation for the Mars mission. investigation.
The report documents more than 600 undisclosed workplace accidents at SpaceX facilities since 2014, but Reuters says this is only a fraction of the total undisclosed number.
Reuters reviewed injury records and public records at six of the company’s largest facilities. SpaceX had previously withheld much of its injury data, in violation of regulatory standards. The investigation also included interviews with dozens of current and former SpaceX employees.
Among the injury data collected by Reuters, more than 100 workers suffered cuts or lacerations, 29 suffered broken bones or dislocations, 17 suffered crushed hands or fingers, and nine suffered some form of serious head injury. I owed it.
Employees told Reuters that the dangerous work environment was the result of Musk’s view that SpaceX was on the front lines of saving humanity from a deteriorating planet. He pushed up work deadlines and forced his employees to work long hours at a fast pace.
The workers also said SpaceX is avoiding “certain amounts of red tape” to increase productivity. According to employee testimony obtained during the investigation, SpaceX senior management circumvented safety protocols and product testing. These shortcuts caused serious injuries, including to employees, resulting in comas and even death.
The decline in workplace safety and accelerated work speed at SpaceX reflects competition across the space industry, where SpaceX is generally considered a top player.
SpaceX, which makes rockets and operates satellite internet provider Starlink, has experienced rapid growth. Its current value is over $100 billion. Some expect the company to go public by 2027.
But space investment has shrunk over the past year as the industry becomes more competitive. Industry-wide pressure is one reason why companies like SpaceX are under increasing pressure to be the first to innovate.
Read the full Reuters investigation here.