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 "trucks" ...

  • 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.
  • Trashed

    Fatal accidents; brutal work conditions; suspicious unions; lax oversight; mob ties and racketeers. Every night in New York, trucks from scores of private trash collection companies hit the city’s streets — often creating havoc and too rarely being reined in by regulators.
  • Waiting for Help

    The breaking news was a mobile home fire on a bitterly cold night. A WSPA photographer captured the aftermath, wrecked home, shivering children, flashing lights on the trucks. The people there, the neighbors mostly, kept asking the same question, “Why did it take so long for firefighters to show up?” It was easy to check and see just how long it took those first responders to arrive and the answer didn’t make sense. WSPA discovered the 911 calls from the fire gave all the correct information including the right address and a full description of the emergency. 911 dispatchers heard that information clearly and repeated it back exactly. Then, they sent the wrong stations to the wrong address in a different city. WSPA used dispatch logs, 911 recordings and interviews to expose a problem with the automated dispatch software that was happening in agencies across the area. With lives at stake, a simple oversight was causing dangerous delays. As a result of WSPA's report, the 911 agency promised sweeping changes. The follow-up reports hold them accountable for that effort.
  • 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.
  • Collision Course

    According to the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA), nearly 4,000 people died in trucking accidents in 2012 – up 18% from 2009. But what is being done to ensure better safety on U.S. roads? "Collision Course," a four-part investigative series reported by Eamon Javers, shines a light on the dangers of crashes that involve long-haul trucks. CNBC breaks down the numbers highlighting that 20% of trucks (over 2 million) inspected in 2012 had out of service violations – faulty brakes, bad tires and shouldn't have been on the road. And, nearly 5% of truck drivers (171,000) had enough violations to be pulled from behind the wheel.
  • Beer Bust

    Stealing beer, intimidating businesses and drinking while driving - it’s all part of a day’s work inside the Montgomery Co Department of Liquor Control. This six-month undercover camera investigation resulted in multiple firings, criminal investigations and hearings to dismantle the organization. After NBC4 Washington received a tip from an insider about the scheme to steal beer, they convinced frightened store owners to come forward. Using FOIA, they realized DLC was still using archaic technology to track $34 million worth of inventory. They spent two weeks typing in data from 35,000 pages to create a database that showed DLC was highly susceptible to theft and corruption. Using this data analysis, they followed crews and caught them sleeping on the job, leaving trucks unattended and repeatedly drinking while driving.
  • FRACTURE CRITICAL: COLORADO’S DETERIORATING RAILROADS

    FOX31 Denver reviewed safety inspections for more than 150 railroad bridges in Colorado and found about one-quarter flunked their latest safety inspection or were deteriorating toward what inspectors call “structurally deficient.” The investigation uncovered one failed rail road bridge which had been struck at least 38 times by heavy trucks and semis - without a single repair.
  • Exhausted at School

    Gaze out the windows of John Marshall Junior High in Seattle and you will see cars and trucks whizzing by on the busiest freeway in the state, Interstate 5. John Marshall is one of 28 public schools and more than 125 day cares that InvestigateWest has found built within 500 feet of Washington’s highest-traffic roadways. That’s close enough to put children’s health at risk, say health researchers. For “Exhausted at School,” InvestigateWest combined data from multiple state agencies and pored over dozens of academic studies to understand the threat of toxic pollution and its effect on kids’ health at school. Our reporting immediately spurred Seattle Schools officials to action: they added a new policy to issue air quality alerts to principals, and announced plans to upgrade a decades-old ventilation system at John Marshall. Officials in Olympia and Washington, D.C., considered and then rejected the notion of banning or severely restricting construction of schools inside the pollution plume, according to interviews and records obtained by InvestigateWest. Meanwhile, state officials do not enforce rules requiring day cares to be built on environmentally safe sites. So schools and day cares continue to be built in the danger zone around freeways, and children pay the price – years after the dangers were conclusively proven. “Exhausted at School” is a collaboration between InvestigateWest and KING 5 Television.
  • WTAE Investigates Fire Chief's Truck Deal

    Our stories resulted in a City of Pittsburgh investigation at the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire that is still ongoing at this time. The stories revealed that the City of Pittsburgh spent millions of dollars buying fire trucks from a company that formerly employed the Pittsburgh fire chief. Records obtained by WTAE showed the chief's former company won three consecutive contracts even though it was not the low bidder. The chief never disclosed his relationship to his boss or the agency that bought the trucks. The story also exposed a little-known city agency that operates in secrecy.
  • Fire truck emergency

    We have investigated all Norwegian fire trucks, and we published news and interactive graphs. After we had published the stories, the secretary of Justice, responsible for the fire trucks, promised that the government will act to give Norway better fire trucks.