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 "safety rules" ...

  • Santa Fe New Mexican and ProPublica: Half-life

    The series Half-life, a partnership between the Santa Fe New Mexican and ProPublica, explored health and safety conditions for nuclear workers at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The says it has complied with federal workers’ safety rules since the mid-1990s, but The New Mexican and ProPublica found thousands of lab workers have filed benefits claims for cancer, and hundreds more have died, as a result of work done in the last two decades — a generation in which nuclear work conditions were supposed to be safe. Reporting found these workers face steep hurdles and are more frequently denied benefits than older generations. The Department of Energy has also rarely held Los Alamos contractors accountable for safety issues and has taken steps to limit independent oversight of safety conditions at federal nuclear sites nationwide.
  • Tragic Harvest

    In “Tragic Harvest,” the Star Tribune revealed that farm deaths in Minnesota and other Midwestern states spiked in the past decade, and that virtually nothing is being done to combat the problem here. In fact, state and federal officials charged with overseeing workplace safety were unaware of the surge in deaths. We showed that most of the deaths are occurring on small farms that are exempt from government oversight, and that most fatal accidents occurred because farm workers violated workplace safety rules. We also showed how Washington, one of the few states to enforce workplace safety rules on small farms, has been able to reduce fatal accidents and significantly improve conditions for farm workers.
  • Danger on Your Dinner Plate

    The food industry has quietly taken over most of the role of the FDA in inspecting what Americans eat, as inspection firms paid by food makers have certified as safe meat and vegetables that have sickened millions and killed thousands of people. After the story, the FDA passed strict food safety rules and for the first time required certification of private inspectors.
  • Massey Mine Explosion Investigation

    Immediately following a deadly mine explosion in West Virginia, CBS News began digging through records from the Mine Safety and Health Administration and found the mine had a shoddy safety record. In fact, on the day of the explosion, the mine's owner, Massey Energy, was cited for violating two federal safety rules.
  • A matter of safety: Utah's Coal Mines

    "Despite a long history of mine disasters, Utah coal mines still consistently and repeatedly break even the most essential of safety rules."
  • Franklin truck firm's fines among highest in industry

    "Federal records show widespread disregard for safety rules at JDC Logistics, a 500-tractor trucking firm based in suburban Milwaukee. Out of more than 50,000 truck and bus companies audited over the last six years by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to check compliance with the rules governing drivers' work hours, only six were fined more than JDC."
  • Accidents Rise on Campuses as Insections Decline

    "The number of serious accidents on college campuses has increased by about 50 percent over the past 20 years while government enforcement of occupational safety rules has fallen sharply. These changes among colleges were larger than for all types of employers as a whole. Many public colleges and universities are exempt from any OSHA inspections and so can afford to pay less attention to work place safety without serious repercussion. In some states, inspectors lack the legal authority to fine public colleges. Colleges with the largest fines included both large and small institutions."
  • On the Job of Last Resort

    The Omaha World-Herald reports on how the U.S Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has provided only "minimal oversight" over the contractors who clean up meatpacking houses every night. The World-Herald found that "most of these contractors are undocumented workers, and that their cleaning is every bit as dangerous as day-time meatpacking" -- and in fact their injury rate is four times higher than normal workers in the industry. In the demand for speed from employers, many of these workers "have lost fingers, arms and even legs when they tried to keep pace. Harried workers have been known to clean cutting and grinding machines while they are still running, which is a clear violation of federal safety rules." But with undocumented workers fearful to come forward because of their legal status, and some pushed out of their jobs by their bosses when they raise safety concerns, the situation is only getting worse. The World found OSHA gave considerably less scrutiny to the problem, in part because it lumped those cleaning packinghouses into the same industry category as "janitors and maids."
  • Thirty Mile Fire

    Seattle Times investigates the death of four firefighters who "were trapped by wildfire in a pinched valley in north-central Washington State" on July 10, 2001. The series reveals that "despite obvious evidence of danger, front-line bosses misjudged the explosive conditions present that day ... [and] pushed firefighters to battle a blaze even though the fire threatened no homes or businesses." Numerous safety rules were ignored, and officials knew that firefighter fatalities follow a pattern, the Times reports. The main finding is that "a fire-fighting culture in which extinguishing fires - not safety - remains the top priority."
  • Park Safety Rules Lax

    "This package examined the inconsistent nature of amusement ride inspections and amusement ride injury reports in the United States."