A Reuters investigation has revealed that SpaceX employees have risked their lives to match the intense work pace that CEO Elon Musk has required in order to complete a Mars trip.
Reuters stated that the data only represents a portion of the overall number of worker injuries that are not publicly known. It documented over 600 previously hidden accidents at SpaceX facilities since 2014.
The six largest locations of the corporation provided injury logs and public documents for Reuters to review. Previously, SpaceX had not disclosed a significant portion of the injury data, which was against regulatory requirements. Numerous current and former SpaceX personnel were interviewed as part of the investigation.
Nine major head injuries, over 100 cuts and lacerations, 29 fractured or dislocated bones, 17 crushed hands and fingers, and 17 other injuries were included in the injury data that Reuters collected.
Workers told Reuters that the hazardous work environment stems from Musk’s belief that SpaceX is leading the charge to save humanity from a collapsing world. He has increased timelines for tasks, requiring staff members to work long hours quickly.
According to employees, SpaceX avoids “a certain level of red tape” in order to maximise efficiency. Senior SpaceX officials circumvented safety procedures and product testing, according to employee testimonies gathered during the probe. These short cuts resulted in serious injuries, some of which left the workers in comas and occasionally even killed.
SpaceX is often considered to be at the top of the space industry’s rat race, which is reflected in the company’s declining workplace safety and increased work pace.