About this series

Over eight months, the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News examined the nation’s “model workplaces” and the fatal lapses that sometimes led to workers’ deaths. This series of stories relies on thousands of pages of government documents and inspection reports; multiple databases of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration; and interviews with current and former OSHA officials, union representatives, company officials, accident victims’ families and workplace safety and health experts. Among the challenges in piecing together the story of OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program: The agency's inconsistent injury and illness records, incomplete data on fatalities, and heavy redaction of case files obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

This story was written and reported by Chris Hamby, with contributions from senior reporter Jim Morris, as well as Mona Iskander of PBS' "Need to Know” TV program, which aired a version of this story.