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Organizations and politicians are apt to state that of course safety is their number one priority. But in real life this can never be true. An organization delivers a product or a service and that service or product must be affordable by society, and must be delivered on time to society, not after the fact. And of course, the level of safety must also be acceptable to society.

So there needs to be a balancing of competing goals. Leaving one of these goals out of the equation will lead to an unacceptable outcome. Stating that safety is the number one priority pushes this unavoidable balancing act out of view, because by definition it does not happen.

But of course it does and that needs to be acknowledged. Only then will it be possible to share the decisions made and make sure that indeed the best balance for the organization as well as for society is found.

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