A Reuters investigation into unsafe working circumstances at SpaceX has uncovered greater than 600 accidents going again to 2014 that haven’t been publicly reported till now. Present and former workers cited within the report blame CEO Elon Musk’s aggressive deadlines and hatred of forms, alleging his aim of getting people to Mars “as quick as attainable” has led the corporate to chop corners and eschew correct protocols.
Damage charges at some SpaceX amenities are a lot increased than the trade common of .8 accidents or sicknesses per 100 staff, Reuters discovered. At its Brownsville, Texas location, the 2022 harm fee was 4.8 per 100 staff. On the Hawthorne, California manufacturing facility, it was 1.8. In McGregor, Texas, the place the corporate conducts rocket assessments, the harm fee was 2.7.
Staff have suffered damaged bones, lacerations, crushed fingers, burns, electrical shocks and severe head wounds — together with one which blinded Brownsville employee Florentino Rios in 2021 and one other that left worker Francisco Cabada in a coma since January 2022. At SpaceX’s McGregor website, one employee, Lonnie LeBlanc, was killed in 2014 when wind knocked him off the trailer of an improperly loaded truck. But through the years, SpaceX has solely paid meager fines on account of its security lapses. After LeBlanc’s demise, the corporate settled with OSHA for $7,000, in keeping with Reuters.
Reuters spoke to over two dozen present or former workers, in addition to others “with information of SpaceX security practices.” One SpaceX ex-manager instructed Reuters that “staff handle their security themselves,” and others stated workers had been even instructed to not put on bright-colored security gear as a result of Musk doesn’t prefer it. SpaceX has additionally repeatedly did not submit harm information to regulators for a lot of its historical past, in keeping with Reuters.