Boeing | Plane maker whistleblowing service sees 500% 'explosion' in use

Plane maker whistleblowing service sees 500% 'explosion' in use

In the wake of recent safety concerns and whistleblower allegations, Boeing's internal service for employees to raise safety and quality concerns has seen a significant surge in activity.

According to Boeing executives, the use of the company's Speak Up portal, designed for confidential reporting of safety and quality issues, has skyrocketed by 500% compared to the previous year.

This surge in activity comes amidst heightened scrutiny following a series of incidents, including a cabin panel blowout in January that raised fresh questions about the production processes of Boeing's bestselling commercial jet, the 737 Max.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently investigating allegations made by Boeing engineer, Sam Salehpour, regarding shortcuts taken in the production of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and 777 jets.

Salehpour, who has worked at Boeing for over a decade, claims he faced retaliation for raising concerns about production processes. He is set to testify at a Senate hearing, where he is expected to detail issues related to the manufacturing of Boeing aircraft.

Lisa Fahl, a Vice President at Boeing, reported that the number of submissions to the Speak Up portal has surged in recent months, with January and February alone matching the submissions received throughout the entirety of the previous year.

Fahl emphasized Boeing's encouragement of employee reporting through the portal, stating that the company has made efforts to streamline the reporting process and ensure that concerns are promptly addressed by the appropriate executives.

While Boeing executives assert a commitment to addressing safety and quality concerns raised by employees, Salehpour alleges that he faced retaliation for speaking out about potential safety issues in Boeing's aircraft production. He has specifically raised concerns about the structural integrity of the 787 Dreamliner and described instances of improper assembly during the production of the 777.

In response to Salehpour's claims, Boeing executives emphasized the thorough testing and inspections conducted on Boeing aircraft, expressing confidence in their safety and durability.

They stressed the importance of employee reporting in identifying and addressing potential issues, while also affirming a zero-tolerance policy towards retaliation against whistleblowers.

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