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I grimace to think how many widows and fatherless children I have represented over the years because of work related deaths. Fires and crushing injuries seem to have been the leading causes in the cases I have handled. The cause has little meaning, however, in view of the destruction to the family when this happens. The statistics are not yet finalized for the 2011 calendar year, but the statistics for 2010 are horrifically numbing. 4,547 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2010, according to results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of great concern to Alabama is the fact that fatal work injuries in the private mining industry rose from 99 in 2009 to 172 in 2010. Work-related fatalities resulting from fires more than doubled from 53 in 2009 to 109 in 2010. The total number of fatal work injuries resulting from fires and explosions rose from 113 in 2009 to 187 in 2010. Worker’s Compensation benefits are not sufficient to protect the worker’s family when he or she is killed on the job. Damages must be sought from any responsible parties other than the employer in a jury trial for the family of the deceased worker to be adequately protected and provided for. Such actions are known as wrongful death actions. This firm has handled such actions successfully for the families of coal miners, construction workers, drivers, mechanics, heavy equipment operators and way too many others. While Alabama has abundant natural resources in coal, gas, oil, timber and pulp wood, our working men and women are our most valuable resource. Almost everything you see around you that was made by man was made by them, constructed by them and maintained by them. Without them Alabama would be little more than an untamed wilderness. Let’s urge worker safety in our State. And when worker safety is not provided due to the negligence of others and a worker is killed, help us do justice for the families in the courtroom. Alabama will be a better place if we do.