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Monday, September 12, 2011

An Introduction to 5S plus Safety

A reader recently asked me for some information on implementing 5S in their factory. Even though I shared my 6S posters a couple weeks ago I thought I could still share some more. 

5S was developed, as with so many of today’s best practice tools, in Japan. 5S is the name of a workplace organization methodology that uses a list of five Japanese words which are seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shitsuke. Transliterated or translated into English, they all start with the letter "S". The list describes how to organize a work space for efficiency and effectiveness by identifying and storing the items used, maintaining the area and items, and sustaining the new order. The decision-making process usually comes from a dialogue about standardization which builds a clear understanding among employees of how work should be done. It also instills ownership of the process in each employee.

Some companies will tell you that they implement 6S; 6S being 5S plus the added step of safety. The 6th “S”; Safety, concentrates on safety aspects of our processes, reviewing every action and each area to ensure that we have not overlooked any potential hazards.

The following presentation introduces the 6S (5S plus Safety) methodology:

The principles underlying a 5S program at first appear to be simple, obvious common sense. And they are for the most part. But many businesses have ignored these basic principles when improving their business.  5S should not be overlooked and is widely used by successful manufacturers.

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