Forklift Theology

Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.

Staying Alive

One of the biggest concerns in most industrial type jobs is accidental death. It is one of the single biggest threats in the shipping industry. I have heard many stories of people be crushed, or electrocuted while on the job. Most of them aren’t too pretty.

Most of these stories, however, have a common cause, carelessness. Sometimes it is due to a lax safety committee that ignores concerns raised on the floor. Sometimes it is due to carelessness on the part of the employees who are doing the job. There are also times when it is an equipment problem, often using the wrong equipment for the job, and more appropriate equipment is unavailable.

The Fifth Commandment.

Thou shalt not kill.

What does this mean?–Answer.

We should fear and love God that we may not hurt nor harm our neighbor in his body, but help and befriend him in every bodily need [in every need and danger of life and body].

Interesting. It would seem that if the Small Catechism is correct on how it interprets the commandment of thou shalt not kill, as written in Exodus 20:13 (Deuteronomy 5:17), then we have something to consider. Specifically, we need to consider what we can do to make things better, and safer, for ourselves and co-workers. Sadly, complacency says that “it’s not my problem”, until the moment comes when it is your problem.

I know how it feels to address a safety concern, only for those on the safety committee to ignore it. I know how it feels to use the wrong equipment for the job, only because nothing safer was available. Not only have I personally been there, I have seen it with others, including the multitude of posts on Facebook, and videos on Youtube. Sad, but it doesn’t take much to find an example of unsafe practices that can somebody killed. Worse, that carelessness can extend out from the job place to the local community, perhaps even beyond.

At the time of this writing, there is construction behind my home. During this time, I’ve watched much in terms of damage to private property based upon carelessness. I’ve seen wires ripped down, fences pushed over, and yards torn up. I find it almost amazing that nobody has reported being injured at this point. I can only wonder what an inspector from OSHA would say if they saw what was going on. However, that is conjecture, and not appropriate for this.

Life is precious in the sight of God. It must be, as he is the one who created life. Humanity was the crowning point of creation. Indeed, God loved us so much, that he even sent his son to die for our sins. Christ Jesus gave up his life, that we may have eternal life.

Companies have a responsibility to ensure that their employees remain safe. This means listening when a concern is raised. Sad truth, if there is a death, even if ruled “accidental”, is still the responsibility of the company. Any company that does not work to ensure their employees are safe are in violation of this commandment. Anything less, and that company should shut its door.

Nobody should have to die on the job. There is no job out there worth dying for. However, God felt that we were worth dying for, and sent his son to die on our behalf for our sins. Life is a gift from God, and we should respect it, and seek to preserve it, both ours and our neighbors. In doing so, we seek to fulfill what God has called us to. Furthermore, in doing so, we honor God, who is the giver of life. Amen.


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This entry was posted on 07/03/2016 by in Discernment, Law and Gospel, Other and tagged , , , , .
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