Stories

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

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Search results for "injury" ...

  • 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.
  • News4 I-Team: Injection Injuries

    This series examined the devastating effects of shoulder injuries from shots given incorrectly. We found those injuries now account for half of all the new cases in the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program- which was initially created to help victims injured by what's inside the syringe, not mistakes made by the shot-giver. We calculated that the federal agency which administers the program has quietly paid out $76 million for those injuries, without ever telling the shot-givers they did it incorrectly.
  • The Force Report

    A 16-month investigation by NJ Advance Media that found New Jersey's system for tracking police force is broken, with no statewide collection or analysis of data, little oversight by state officials and no standard practices among local departments. Two decades ago, officials envisioned a centralized database that would flag dangerous cops, preventing unnecessary injuries and costly excessive force lawsuits. But that database was never created. So we built it.
  • Insult to Injury

    As Tesla races to revolutionize the automobile industry and build a more sustainable future, it has left its factory workers in the past, still painfully vulnerable to the dangers of manufacturing. Our reporting shows that Tesla prioritized speed over safety, ignored its own safety experts and denied proper medical care to injured workers. And in order to make its safety record look better than it really is, Tesla has kept injuries off the books. Our radio segments take listeners into the factory and behind the scenes, as whistleblowers tell their secrets and workers show the toll on their lives.
  • Question of risk: Medtronic's lost study

    America depends on the timely notification of injuries to protect patients from dangerous medical devices. But as a Star Tribune investigation showed, companies can break injury-reporting laws with impunity. First, the newspaper exposed a long-lost Medtronic study of a controversial bone-surgery product called Infuse. The study documented more than 1,000 serious problems that were not provided to the government during a period of heightened scrutiny of the product’s safety. When Medtronic did report the data to the FDA, more than five years late, the FDA secretly granted Medtronic permission to summarize the data in a file that would be available to the public only under a FOIA request. The Star Tribune went on to document hundreds of these “retrospective summary reports” of long-overdue unreported device reports from two dozen companies.
  • Descent into Disorder

    An investigation into the state of Wisconsin's broken juvenile justice system and warning signs that were ignored for years, leaving young inmates injured and guards undertrained, overworked and largely unaccountable.
  • Assault On Justice

    When you hear the charge “assaulting a police officer,” you might assume that an officer has been hurt or injured while serving the community. But in D.C., you might not be able to take so-called APOs at face value. WAMU 88.5 investigative reporter Patrick Madden, along with journalist Christina Davidson, teamed with the Center For Investigative Reporting's Reveal program and American University's Investigative Reporting Workshop to document and analyze nearly 2,000 cases with charges of assaulting a police officer. The results raise concerns about the use or overuse of the charge. Some defense attorneys see troubling indicators in the numbers, alleging that the law is being used as a tactic to cover up police abuse and civil rights violations. The statute “goes too far and criminalizes too much,” one expert says. http://wamu.org/projects/assault-on-justice/
  • Indian grandfather

    This story happened fast. Pursuing a cryptic police release about an injury to a unidentified man during a traffic stop on Feb. 6, I managed to track down the necessary information to publish a full account on Feb. 10. This first story of a police encounter gone wrong, of the leg sweep and spinal injury to an Indian farmer brought to Alabama days before to care for his grandson, would spiral rapidly into an international incident. I found myself being interviewed on Indian television days later as the story drew global interest. Indian diplomats were dispatched to the man's hospital bed. Two days of intense international pressure led the small department in an affluent, relatively multi-cultural bedroom community to release the video that confirmed this initial report as well as take the unusual step of arresting their own officer. In the following weeks, the governor of Alabama would apologize to the Indian government and the FBI would indict the patrol officer for a civil rights violation, leading to back-to-back hung juries in 2015. I have been covering, off and on, this fascinating look at the collision of citizen rights and attitudes on immigration and police policies ever since.
  • Insult to Injury: America’s Vanishing Worker Protections

    Driven by big business and insurers, states nationwide are dismantling workers’ compensation, slashing benefits to injured workers and making it more difficult for them to get care. Meanwhile employers are paying the lowest rates for workers’ comp insurance since the 1970s. http://projects.propublica.org/graphics/workers-compensation-benefits-by-limb http://projects.propublica.org/graphics/workers-comp-reform-by-state https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/workcomp-company http://projects.propublica.org/graphics/workers-compensation-premiums-down http://www.npr.org/2015/03/05/390930229/grand-bargain-in-workers-comp-unravels-harming-injured-workers-further
  • The 45-minute mystery of Freddie Gray's death

    In the days after Freddie Gray died — and with the nation’s attention focused on Baltimore — many questions remained about his arrest and ride in a police transport van. The Baltimore Sun sought to answer those questions, by re-creating the crucial minutes during which Gray sustained a severe and ultimately fatal spinal injury. Reporters hit the streets of West Baltimore, beginning at the spot of Gray’s arrest on April 12. They used video to highlight key intersections and give viewers a look at the neighborhood, and interviewed residents and business owners whose accounts raised questions about the official version of events, including a police account that Gray was arrested "without force or incident." The reporters also revealed that police investigators had missed important evidence. Sun designers used this material to create a video timeline highlighting key moments from the “45-minute mystery,” distilling in-depth reporting that would become a 2,200-word story into a dynamic, six-slide interactive, which succinctly and dramatically laid out the disparities between the police and residents’ accounts of Gray’s much-discussed arrest and van ride. http://data.baltimoresun.com/freddie-gray/