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 violations" ...

  • Dangerous Dollar Jitneys

    After scores of complaints, safety violations and a crash that killed an infant, WPIX went undercover and caught “dollar jitney” drivers committing dangerous acts behind the wheel: texting and talking on cell phones, illegally passing and speeding - endangering New York and New Jersey motorists, pedestrians and passengers. http://pix11.com/2015/11/20/pix11-investigation-exposes-dangerous-dollar-jitneys-traveling-ny-nj-roadways/ http://pix11.com/2015/11/23/pix11-investigation-sparks-police-probe-into-jitney-drivers-using-phones-behind-the-wheel/
  • Toxic Legacy

    Employees of Technicoat, a metal coating company based in Fort Worth in the ‘70s and 80s, hired teenagers to dispose of industrial waste and harmful chemicals. None of the employees went through any kind of safety training or were given protective gear. Now many of the company’s former employees have either died from illnesses linked to chemical exposure or are currently battling illnesses that are likely related to being exposed to chemicals during their tenure at Technicoat. The story found that the city of Fort Worth and the Tarrant Regional Water District are still dealing with the environmental impact of the company’s illegal chemical dumping – sometimes down storm drains, in holes dug in the ground, or straight into the Trinity River – as the area that housed the Technicoat plant is being redeveloped. It also discovered that the company blatantly disregarded federal safety standards and was fined multiple times by different federal, state, and local agencies for environmental and safety violations.
  • Greek Tragedies

    The University of Illinois has the largest number of Greek chapters in the country, with 4,000 students living in Greek houses. City safety inspectors find hundreds of fire hazards and safety violations in fraternities and sororities at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign each year, yet it can take months before some violations are corrected, inspection documents show. Almost all of the 60 fraternities and sororities inspected in 2012 had violations, many of which included disconnected smoke detectors, overloaded extension cords, broken sprinklers and faulty emergency lights, according to 2012 inspection records. Other violations were for unapproved cooking equipment such as hotplates, pizza ovens and self-heating skillets.
  • 98 Minutes

    "98 Minutes" is a collaborative multimedia investigation by WBEZ and the Center for Public Integrity. The project examines the death of a temporary worker due to burns he suffered on the job at a Chicago-area factory. It also examines crucial workplace-safety enforcement issues affecting temporary workers, a growing part of the U.S. labor force. Our reporting found that these temp workers face distinct hazards and that the federal government isn’t keeping close track of their injuries. Highlights of the investigation include (a) data, acquired and analyzed by WBEZ, that expose the lack of federal record-keeping concerning temp-worker injuries and (b) a U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration internal memorandum, acquired by CPI, that recommends criminal prosecution for alleged safety violations found during inspections triggered by the death, (c) recorded comments from top national OSHA officials recorded in ambush-style settings after the agency had failed to grant repeated interview requests and (d) recorded comments from a recently retired top regional OSHA official who suggested a way for the agency to step up inspections of temp-worker job sites. The project, co-reported by WBEZ’s Chip Mitchell and CPI’s Jim Morris, includes five components: (1) a 12-minute broadcast story, (2) a 3,500-word text story, (3) a timeline with still photos and text enabling web visitors to follow the 98 minutes between the worker’s accident and his arrival at an appropriate medical facility, (4) data visualizations showing the growing number of U.S. temporary workers and the lack of federal records about their injuries and (5) a 25-minute conversation about temporary-worker hazards and safety enforcement. The conversation, broadcast live and recorded for web streaming, includes experts and listener callers.
  • HBO Real Sports: Hockey's Darkest Day

    In 2011 a plane carrying a Russian hockey team crashed shortly after takeoff--the deadliest accident in the history of professional sports. A five-month Real Sports investigation uncovered massive safety problems in the Russian hockey league. The league spent millions on player salaries but "a few bucks" on everything else--including travel. The plane that crashed was operated by a cheap, third-rate company that had been banned from flying to Europe because they had been cited so many times for major safety violations. The crew of the plane hadn't even completed their training. Our investigation showed that the lack of safety in the world’s second best hockey league—called the KHL—often extends to the ice where KHL team doctors use IV’s and drugs to get their players to perform better on the ice. One young star died after receiving an injection of banned drugs from team doctors. When it came to travel, the lack of safe conditions was nearly universal. Practically every team flew on a Soviet-era jet—jets that make up 3% of the world’s fleet but account for 42% of the world’s accidents. These jets are in such poor condition that most Russian airlines wont use them. Yet even after the crash the KHL continued to use these planes, a fact they initially denied. Shortly after we interviewed the KHL Vice President, the league changed its rules. Now teams fly strictly on modern equipment.
  • Cross at Your Own Risk: Rails pose deadly threat

    This investigation reveals a number of statistics from "nearly 3,000 public rail crossings" in Louisiana. Along with these statistics, it also reveals the people behind the numbers and how it has impacted dozens of lives. Some of the major statistics found are "nearly 1,500 defects statewide, some rail crossings haven’t been inspected over the 10-year period studied, few safety violations resulted in a fine or other penalty, and despite the denials drivers were not always responsible for the accidents."
  • Fire Department Corruption

    This investigation revealed that hundreds of commercial building and large apartment buildings in New York City have been allowed to operate with defective and potentially dangerous fire alarm systems despite obvious violations found by Fire department civilian inspectors. This includes some hospitals, schools and department stores. Two inspectors alleged that, because of corruption, the fire department allowed buildings to get letters of approval needed for legal occupancy even with numerous fire alarm safety violations when certain former inspectors, working as consultants or expediters, were hired by the buildings' owners. Because of this investigation, the city council will hold public hearings on these allegations and comptroller William Thompson has turned over information from this investigation to "criminal authorities."
  • Broken Buses

    This series of investigations revealed serious, recurring and widespread safety violations involving hundreds of school buses used to transport nearly 20,000 children to Indianapolis-area schools, and the expanded to show critical safety problems affecting thousands of buses in school districts across Indiana. The investigation exposed problems not only with the school buses, but also identified gaping deficiencies in the Indiana State Police bus inspection program. It triggered immediate and dramatic action, prompted Indiana's largest school districts to call for more stringent oversight and more frequent inspections and provided parents with a hands-on tool to monitor the safety history of their children's school buses.
  • Deficient Deicing

    An investigation of Servisair International, the largest deicing contractor at Denver International Airport, showed that the company was cheating and taking short cuts in training of aircraft deicers. They were also falsifying documents allowing untrained workers to drive around the airfield. All of which are safety violations.
  • The Buried and the Dead

    This series raises questions about Texas' oversight of the gas pipeline industry. The reporters found that state regulators often ignore safety violations because of unethical relationships with the companies involved. Despite several recent fatal pipeline accidents, and federal and industry warnings, conditions in the state have not improved.