THE SIXTH ‘S’
STEPS TOWARD CULTIVATING A SAFER WORKPLACE We’ve all known it since we were kids: Red means stop, yellow means slow down, and green means go. Standards such as these improve efficiency, prevent accidents, and establish order. In 5S, these types of standards are utilized daily to improve workplace safety by decreasing the likelihood of accidents and ensuring the safest way to carry out processes and procedures. Highlighting its importance, some 5S practitioners have evolved into a 6S system, with the sixth “S” standing for safety. Using a checklist, some plants undertake a safety initiative following Seiso, or Shine. In the 6S method, Safety focuses on identifying hazards and putting preventive measures in place to reduce the risk of accidents or injury. I’ll admit, I’m hesitant about adding the sixth “S” because, theoretically, a plant will become safer by default with a 5S process. While a safe workplace should be a natural result of implementing 5S, initiatives can fall by the wayside. This could be due to reg-tagging not being thorough enough in the beginning of the process and should be revisited.
newsletter, we share some of the signs that clearly communicate how your team is doing with keeping one another safe. As always, feel free to reach out about 5S questions and challenges. Sometimes you just need someone to bounce ideas off of to determine the best fit for whichever phase of 5S you’re at. When that’s the case, we’re here for you.
efficient, and workplace safety often takes a hit. With this in mind, revisiting the 5S process helps teams overcome challenges and improves overall safety. With that in mind, it’s always worth revisiting 5S to see what can be improved. It might help you discover what your team finds challenging and how to overcome some of those challenges. We all want to be safer, and, by working together to standardize and sustain, we can see that happen. 5S works in tandem. You can’t skip steps and hope it is effective. It is both a detailed process and big-picture practice that improves flow and safety when followed and practiced. Visual cues are an essential part of any safety initiative, including visual signs that keep safety top of mind. Inside the
If 5S isn’t sustained, what should be a well-oiled machine becomes far less
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