“Loaded with Lead,” an ongoing, yearlong investigation into lead hazards at shooting ranges nationwide, is based on tens of thousands of pages of public records and scores of interviews. Among the interviews were those with range employees and owners, public-health and workplace-safety officials, regulators, shooters, construction workers, family members, and medical and firearms experts.
Reporters gathered several thousand enforcement records from Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries and from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to build custom inspection databases. After analysis, these data sets provided key findings. The national database of 201 commercial shooting ranges that had been inspected details more than 1,900 violations between 2004 and 2013. Because the violations were identified by regulation code, The Times consulted hundreds of federal and state occupational-safety standards to determine which violations were lead-related.
Reporters filed scores of public-records requests with public agencies in numerous states, including Washington, California, Alaska, Kentucky, Iowa, Florida and Illinois. Among the documents: workplace inspection files (including correspondence, emails, handwritten notes, photos, audio and videos); court files; police reports; and property records. They also obtained federal records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from several regional and state OSHA offices.
Reporters: Christine Willmsen, Lewis Kamb
Database reporter: Justin Mayo
Photographers: Marcus Yam, Mark Harrison
Developer: Thomas Wilburn
Graphic artists: Mark Nowlin, Garland Potts
Video editor: Danny Gawlowski
Project editor: James Neff
Copy editor: Laura Gordon
Photo editor: Fred Nelson
Print designer: Bob Warcup
Producer/web designer: Katrina Barlow
Researchers: Gene Balk, Miyoko Wolf
Reporting intern: Caitlin Cruz
Additional reporting: Keith Ervin