public safety

Chipping paint is a lead poisoning danger to kids.
Flickr Photo/Nancy Waldman (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/2Unkx2

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Seattle Times health reporter JoNel Aleccia about lead risks in Washington state. Children in the state have low risks of lead poisoning, but health officials say the biggest lead risks are not in the water; they exist in lead paint in old houses and other environments like some construction sites. 

Half of the workplace deaths involved people over the age of 50 – not people who died of heart attacks, but people who fell or injured themselves on the job.
KUOW photo

Worker Memorial Day, the day Washington State honors people who lost their lives on the job, is this Thursday.

water sink tap
Flickr Photo/Alena Navarro-Whyte (CC BY ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/asF1o

People in Tacoma, Washington still don't know how bad their lead problem is.

The city says 1,700 Tacoma households and small businesses could be at risk. But it's unknown how many of those customers have high lead levels in their water.

Engineers told state legislatures in 1995 that the Alaskan Way Viaduct would crumble in a major quake. The project to replace the Viaduct is underway but still incomplete.
Flickr Photo/Washington State Department of Transportation CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

When a major quake hit San Francisco in 1989, the Cypress Street Viaduct collapsed, killing 42 people.

The next day, Washington state officials saw images of the viaduct. To their horror, it looked almost identical to the Alaskan Way Viaduct on Seattle’s waterfront.

Cape Kiwanda is an icon of the Oregon coast, but its jagged bluffs and towering dunes also tempt thrill-seekers to get too close to the edge.

A photo from the Seattle Fire Department's Twitter feed shows  the side of a bus ripped open after a collision with a duck amphibious vehicle on the Aurora Bridge in Seattle, September 24, 2015. .
Seattle Fire Department

Ride the Ducks of Seattle has admitted to more than 460 motor safety violations.

The company also revealed a settlement plan made with the state transportation officials on Thursday. The Utilities and Transportation Commission, proposes a $222,000 fine against the company. That's after a Ride the Ducks vehicle was involved in a crash last year in Seattle that killed five students.

Northwest Hospital in the Northgate area of Seattle.
Facebook Photo/Northwest Hospital

Washington health officials are investigating a man charged with swapping syringes in Colorado who used to work in Seattle as a surgery technician.

They have also warned hundreds of patients to get tested for blood borne pathogens.

Roommates Daniel Miller and Alex Sokolowski faced flaming debris and an exploding fish tank in their home near the blast.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Greenwood business owners and residents are working to clean up and repair blown-out windows after a massive natural gas explosion. They’re also waiting for access to closed streets and buildings and for news on the investigation.

Glass covers a sidewalk at the scene of a gas leak explosion in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood in the early hours of Wed., March 9, 2016.
KUOW Photo/Derek Wang

Update 12:20 p.m.

Residents and businesses affected by the natural gas explosion in Greenwood early Wednesday morning are waiting for word on when they can re-enter their buildings.

One of them is Daniel Miller. He lives in an apartment just behind the site of the explosion, over the Mexican restaurant Gorditos.

Preschoolers huddle beneath a table at Green Tree Early Learning Center in Seattle, which conducts monthly earthquake drills.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

For parents in the Seattle area, the idea of a big earthquake is scary enough. But what happens if a disaster strikes when your children are in daycare?

State law requires child care centers train their staff – and children in their care – in what to do in an emergency. 

But a KUOW analysis has found that some daycare centers are out of compliance year after year – even in the Seattle neighborhoods most vulnerable to earthquake.

Concerned Mother Pushes For Washington Travis Alert Bill

Feb 16, 2016
Courtesy of Threasa King

Bill Radke speaks with Threasa King about her efforts, along with state Rep. Gina McCabe, to pass a bill named after King's autistic son. The Travis Alert Bill will give first responders more training in helping people with autism or other disabilities and also help alert first responders that special care may be needed.

Queen Anne hill in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/craterdweller (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/5tqcxH

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle Times reporter Jessica Lee about the growing trend in Magnolia, Queen Anne and Ballard of hiring private police to watch out for crime in the neighborhoods. Radke also gets reaction from Seattle Mayor Ed Murray on the trend of private police.  

On the surface, Flint, Mich., and Kabwe, Zambia, don't seem to have a lot in common.

They're half a world away from each other. One is a city of 99,000 in one of the richest countries in the world. The other is a city of 203,000 in a lower-middle-income country.

Making school buildings strong enough to withstand a major earthquake is one of the highest priorities for emergency planners on the West Coast. Washington state is taking small steps to identify the most vulnerable schools, while Oregon is actually spending to fix things.

A view from the Columbia Tower in downtown Seattle. Sheriff John Urquhart offered three tips on what to do if a shooter enters a building: run, hide or fight like hell -- in that order.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Three things you can do when a mean-mugging man with an assault rifle blazes into your office, according to King County Sheriff John Urquhart:

“The first is run,” Urquhart said. “Go out a back door, go out the front door if you can, break out a window, climb out a window.”

Plan B: Hide. Go into an office, barricade the door and keep quiet until you’re sure police are on the other side of that door.

Your third option is to be fierce.

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