The Morality of Keeping Employees Safe

The picture below was recently taken by one of our Certek employees on a job site. This beautiful Grizzly wandered over to see what our guys were up to over a period of a week. Working in the untamed wilderness of North America, our team regularly comes into contact with all kinds of dangerous wildlife. As the CEO, I am regularly reminded of the potential dangers that exist out in the wild. I get pictures and reports from our field crews with notes about what steps they have taken to mitigate the dangers of the animals that are, at times, hunting them. The wildlife dangers we regularly face in North America have always been a cause of concern for me, but it wasn’t until recently that I became somewhat upset with the situation my workers are being forced into by misguided safety regulations.

A number of months ago, one of our US Certek Team was out camping near our branch in Anchorage, Alaska.  One evening, a Black Bear came by his camp and started getting aggressive. The bear came into the camp area and began violently trashing the camp sites. A group of the campers grabbed pots and pans and started loudly banging them together, to scare the bear off. Instead of being scared off, the bear became extremely aggressive and charged the campers.

Thankfully our employee had a side arm on his person (as is legal standard practice when camping in Alaska), so that when the bear lunged to attack him, he was able to defend himself from what would have otherwise been a serious mauling and probable death, for one or more of the campers.

My frustration as a CEO is that (particularly in Canada) our government officials would rather make laws to protect the lives of animals than make allowances for humans to protect themselves in situations like the one above. Fundamentally, all people know that the life of a person is more valuable than the life of any animal. Just look at what happens when a dog bites a child. When a dog simply bites a person, everyone agrees that it is reasonable for that dog to be put down. Flip this same scenario around and you won’t find anyone to agree that a child should be put down for attacking dog, it’s just a law of nature. We all know this and in action and practice we all accept this fact, because this is how God created the world. These realities are simply built into each one of us, as laws of nature. God created man in His image, and as such we have inherent worth, greater than that of the rest of nature. If you remove God from this equation then someone or something will be put in place to make new rules, and new laws. Issues like safety, the environment, climate change or whatever seems to be en vogue that day, will be used as the basis for our new morality. Without God’s natural laws driving our decisions or our morality its easy for fundamental truths to be turned on their heads. Evil is called good, and before you know it animals are declared to be more important than men. In this frenzied process of reworking morality, humanity itself is turned into an enemy, from which nature needs protection.

Don’t get me wrong, animals are important because God made them, and to a point they deserve protection. However, when a life and death, man vs. animal decision needs to be made, the correct answer is always humanity and everyone knows it. Unfortunately, in the eyes of those making the laws, animals have been elevated to a status that gives them pre-eminence over humanity. Prohibiting average people from taking the required steps to protect themselves from wild animals, fundamentally places a higher value on the animals than it does on man. This simple decision to disallow people from protecting themselves inverts God’s natural created order; it goes against the true laws of nature.

Until the legislatures of our countries acknowledge the inherent worth of humanity, that emanates from the truth that we are God’s image bearers, we will be stuck with laws that make no sense and our people will continue to be at increased risk.  These “simple” inversions by our governments, that create new and arbitrary moralities drive us further and further from sanity and safety. We will increasingly be told what we can and cannot do or say, in areas that make less and less sense. When we have no solid basis for our morality, reason is inevitably tossed out the window. Before you know it, our governments will try to tell us there is no difference between a boy and a girl and that saying otherwise is a crime. Before you know it, our governments will tell us it’s ok to kill our children if we don’t want them, and it will be called good. Before you know it, men will be allowed to marry men, and it will be called good. Before you know it, writing an article even criticizing this type of insanity will be called a hate crime…

Think on this the next time you meet a bear who is seconds away from eating you alive. Is there a real natural order, that was set in motion by the God you will inevitably be praying to for protection, or is the millennial bureaucrat correct that it’s the bear’s right to eat you if you can’t run fast enough?

I’ll leave you with a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the man who laid his life down fighting the relative morality of the ruling party of his day:

“In conversation with him, one virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with him as a person, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like that have taken possession of him. He is under a spell, blinded, misused, and abused in his very being. Having thus become a mindless tool, the stupid person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks, for it is this that can once and for all destroy human beings.”

May we all avoid being the stupid person.




Dick Barendregt

CEO, Certek Heating Solutions