workplace safety

"Product of Mexico" — it's a label you see on fruit and vegetable stickers in supermarkets across the U.S.

It's also the name of an investigative series appearing this week in the Los Angeles Times.

Workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington have been complaining of vapors from radioactive sludge for decades.

Courtesy of Gordon Janz

The U.S. Department of Justice has closed its four-year criminal investigation into whether environmental and worker safety laws were broken leading up to the fatal Tesoro refinery blast.

Ross Reynolds talks with Dave Fehling, energy and environment reporter for StateImpact Texas, an NPR reporting project, about oil refinery accidents and what happens when they're criminally prosecuted.

EarthFix Photo/Tony Schick

Curtis Rookaird thinks BNSF Railway fired him because he took the time to test his train’s brakes.

The rail yard in Blaine, Washington, was on heightened security that day, he remembers, because of the 2010 Winter Olympics underway just across border in Vancouver, B.C.

KUOW/John Ryan photo

In the months following a deadly refinery explosion in Anacortes, Washington, in April 2010, federal investigators with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board were ready to issue urgent safety recommendations. But management at the agency blocked the release of their urgent alert.

Chemical Safety Board

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is calling for 60 improvements in the design, operation and regulation of the Tesoro oil refinery in Anacortes and of refineries nationwide.

Flickr Photo/Scott Butner

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story included the Washington Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals’ mistaken assertion that Tesoro’s fines had been reduced to $858,500. The correct figure is $658,500.

Safer practices and better steel could have prevented a deadly explosion at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Wash., in 2010, according to a new report from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.  

The blast killed seven workers.

Courtesy of Jon Rogney

Last January, Mike Rongey, a seasoned climber, was assigned to climb a cell phone tower in Mount Vernon, Wash., to replace electronics that are part of the Clearwire wireless network.

Tuesday's terrifying incident at an elementary school near Atlanta — in which a gunman with an assault rifle and other weapons entered the building — ended with no one being hurt after a school clerk apparently spent about an hour talking to the young man. She says she persuaded him to put down his gun and surrender.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

It’s hard enough to stay healthy at work. But imagine working at a candy factory, surrounded by sweet temptations. At Brown and Haley in Tacoma, workers are getting help to change their health habits. The candy maker and other employers in Pierce County are part of a national pilot program.

KUOW/John Ryan

The Shell Oil Co. refinery in Anacortes, Wash., sprang a leak last week. Shell quickly shut down the equipment that was boiling oil to make gasoline, but the shutdown led to a release of toxic gases.