Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "OSHA" ...

  • Hard Rock Hotel Collapse

    When an 18-story hotel under construction collapsed catastrophically on a Saturday morning in October, we immediately began trying to understand what went wrong. Initially, this involved sharing video of the collapse with experts to seek opinions about possible causes. In the days and weeks that followed, we spoke with workers who were on the job and reviewed building plans and inspection reports to determine where missteps were made. We also uncovered a video, narrated in Spanish by a worker on the site, that was posted several days before the collapse, in which the worker spotlights a number of alarming flaws in the building.
  • In the hot seat

    When reporters at NBC News began probing OSHA severe injury data in February 2019, an interesting takeaway emerged: UPS had a higher rate of heat injuries than any other company. At least 107 UPS workers in 23 states had been hospitalized for heat illnesses since 2015. In severe cases, heat can lead to organ failure and death. But regulators have little enforcement ability on this issue because there is no OSHA standard protecting workers from heat--even as climate change brings record-breaking temperatures. NBC News filed more than two dozen public records requests for state-level data -- to supplement the federal OSHA data -- and hundreds of pages of incident reports, and spoke with dozens of UPS employees, uncovering a corporate culture that exacerbated the problem. Long hours, heavy routes, fear of retaliation and sweltering trucks and warehouses pushed workers workers past their limits. Managers pushing workers to continue working when sick, and employees too intimidated to report their injuries. UPS claimed that their iconic brown trucks do not get dangerously hot, but NBC News sent five temperature loggers in packages across the country, during one of the hottest weeks of the summer. The results showed that each package exceeded 100 degrees while on a truck, with one hitting nearly 115 degrees. Drivers around the country also sent us images of temperature readings they took in their own trucks -- the hottest clocked in at 158 degrees. Between rising temperatures and the growing demands of the two-day delivery economy, dozens of UPS drivers said conditions are getting worse. Follow up stories uncovered additional injuries and more examples of UPS poorly protecting its workers from the heat. Following our story, OSHA fined UPS for a heat injury for the first time in nearly a decade.
  • In secretive marijuana industry, whispers of abuse and trafficking

    For decades, California’s Emerald Triangle has provided cover for the nation’s largest marijuana-growing industry. But its forests also hide secrets, among them young women with stories of sexual abuse and exploitation.
  • Discharging Trouble

    The student reporters, working over a span of five months, found cases of elderly and disabled people who were discharged from a Maryland nursing home chain due to alleged financial concerns into unlicensed group or assisted living homes. Two people were assaulted in these homes. Attorneys and advocates for the poor said these were examples of a long-standing problem happening within the nursing care system in Maryland. These issues involve a combination of poor health circumstances, payment troubles, financial incentives to discharge patients and an unregulated underworld of group homes and unlicensed assisted-living facilities.
  • Federal Whistleblower Program Fails to Protect

    From airlines to pipelines, they are the workers on the front lines who speak up when systems break down. An NBC Bay Area investigation reveals that the federal program designed to protect whistleblowers who raise red flags about public health, environmental violations and corporate wrongdoing, is failing to meet its mission. Insiders say that puts all of us at risk. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Federal-Whistleblower-Investigator-Fired-After-Blowing-the-Whistle-on-His-Own-Agency-332240782.html http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/OSHA-Dismisses-Majority-of-Whistleblower-Cases-Agency-Investigates-332258162.html http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/OSHA-Whistleblower-Investigator-Blows-Whistle-on-Own-Agency--293711041.html
  • Down and Out at Inglewood Unified

    Inglewood Unified serves a low income, high minority community which sits in the shadow of Los Angeles. By just being born in this city kids are already at a disadvantage: high crime, high poverty, high teen pregnancy. So when the District received tens of millions of dollars in state aid as part of takeover, the hope was to clean up the schools. KPCC wanted to find out if that happened. We investigated Inglewood Unified schools and found conditions at an all time low: campuses dealing with rats, fire safety problems, exposed wiring and an increase in violence. We also found campus security was eliminated while the new superintendent of the district received a $150,000 a year personal security detail. There were results from their investigation, including a massive clean up and repair of schools, rehiring of campus security personnel and an end to the superintendent's security detail.
  • Awash in Risk

    In the shadow of the American petrochemical industry, hundreds of workers perform a crucial, dangerous and utterly invisible task. They physically climb inside tanker trucks and rail tank cars and chemical barges to clean them out. The men, nearly all black and Latino, come in direct contact with fiercely corrosive chemical leftovers and fumes, often working with scrapers and razor blades to get every square inch of the insides clean. Some say they do so without so much as a mask. Many have died. Generating data from scratch, frequenting truck stops, knocking on doors and collecting obscure business sources, the Houston Chronicle provides a first instance look at this previously unknown industry, cross referencing every found workplace with OSHA records to paint a picture of a labor that has passed mostly under the radar.
  • Hired Guns

    Across the United States, there is a group of men and women who are given weapons and the imprimatur of law enforcement but who face almost no scrutiny: armed security guards. Until a CNN/The Center for Investigative Reporting investigation into the burgeoning industry, little was known about how haphazard and weak America’s standards were for training and regulating armed security guards. The result has left people dead and paralyzed, and families devastated.
  • farm Injuries

    We all need to eat. Our lives depend upon it. Yet, each day hundreds of thousands of farmers put their own lives at risk for our sustenance. One slip and their lives can be changed forever - or worse. The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism and The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting took a collaborative look at farm injuries in the top two corn-producing states in the country.
  • As OSHA Emphasizes Safety, Long-Term Health Risks Fester

    For years, Sheri Farley worked in a cushion-making factory. Spray-gun in hand, she stood enveloped in a yellowish fog, breathing glue fumes that ate away at her nerve endings. “Dead foot” set in. She walked with a limp, then a cane, then she didn't walk much at all. “Part of the job,” was the shrugging response from her managers. This article was the first to reveal how the furniture industry used a dangerous chemical called nPB despite urgent warnings from the companies that manufactured it. The story also described egregious behavior by a small cushion-making company in North Carolina called Royale Comfort Seating, where Ms. Farley worked. The piece spotlighted the consequences of OSHA's failure to police long-term health risks and how efforts to control one chemical left workers exposed to something worse. Workplace illnesses like Ms. Farley's affect more than 200,000 Americans per year and cost our economy more than $250 billion annually. The agency responsible for ensuring that Americans can breathe clean air on the job focuses primarily on deadly accidents. But ten times as many people die from inhaling toxic substances at work.