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U.S. lawmakers urge scrutiny of SpaceX worker injuries after Reuters report

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SpaceX, Twitter and electric car maker Tesla CEO Elon Musk looks on as he speaks during his visit at the Vivatech technology startups and innovation fair at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, on June 16, 2023. 

Alain Jocard | Afp | Getty Images

Three U.S. lawmakers are calling for greater scrutiny of worker safety at Elon Musk’s SpaceX following a Reuters investigation that documented hundreds of injuries at the rocket company’s U.S. manufacturing and launch sites.

The Nov. 10, Reuters report detailed at least 600 previously unreported workplace injuries since 2014 at SpaceX including crushed limbs, amputations, head injuries and one death. The Reuters report found that injury rates at three major SpaceX industrial facilities in Texas and California far exceeded the average for the space industry.

Representative Zoe Lofgren of California, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology Committee, said the report’s findings were “deeply concerning and must be taken very seriously.”

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The science panel oversees NASA’s budget and the activities of the agency’s contractors.

Democratic Representative Mark Takano of California called the report “deeply troubling.” Takano is a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which oversees worker safety matters.

“These horrific and frequent violations at SpaceX are unacceptable,” Takano added. “Accountability for those harmed is overdue, particularly in light of the federal government’s partnership with the company.”

The U.S. space agency NASA has paid SpaceX, whose headquarters are in Hawthorne, California, $11.8 billion to date as a private space contractor.

Democratic Representative Donald Norcross of New Jersey, also a member of the education and workforce committee, called the findings “alarming and certainly a cause for concern.”

Source: CNBC

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