Juggling Multiple Priorities

March 18 2015
By: Terry L. Mathis

One day during my management career, I got visited by four specialists from corporate, then by my regional manager. The safety, quality, logistics and IT specialists in sequence told me about all their new initiatives that would require my support, understanding, and staffing. Then my boss showed up and asked me if I had any questions. I simply asked him, "While I am doing all these programs would you like to try to continue to do business as well?"

Almost all managers must juggle a number of priorities without dropping any. Safety should not be one of these! Safety is not something else you do; it is the WAY you do everything. It is not a conflicting priority with anything else if you integrate it into the flow of work and the fabric of culture. Yes, safety meetings take time, but not if they are simply a part of shift start-up meetings or tool-box meetings, which you have anyway. Yes, safety training takes time, but workers attend training of many kinds, none of which is expendable. The best safety is completely imbedded into the workflow and not perceived as separable or competing. If you think this is not possible, seek out some of the excellent organizations that have made it happen.

Terry L. Mathis

Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.

Subscribe to our newsletter