Be Honest, It’s Not Important

I’d prepared the best way forward. After the incident where the worker’s hand was caught in the machine, I’d investigated and found the perfect machine guard. So I wrote up a business case for the guard and presented it to the boss.

He said we didn’t have the money left in the budget.

I knew what he meant to say…he really meant, “It’s not important.”

Yet as safety professionals we do this too. And by “we” I really mean me.

Every time we say, “I ran out of time” or “I was too busy” or “Something came up and I couldn’t get to it”, we should stop.

Because what we’re saying is, “It’s not important”.

And that’s OK sometimes. Just like not everything can be a priority, not everything is truly important.

So be honest with yourself. How does it feel when you say it? Does it conflict with your values or does it feel alright? If it conflicts, then make it important and deprioritize something else. If you’re OK with it not being important, let it go. Delegate it or simply delete it.

Machine guards? Important. But that treadmill in the corner collecting clothes? Maybe it’s time to be honest.


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