Jasmeet Kohli

Friday 3 August 2018

Lean 6S : Where is 6th S Safety?

Each one of us people using Lean & Lean Six Sigma know that Lean 5S (Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize & Sustain) is a method to methodically design a work area to increase productivity, efficiency & quality while eliminating waste. Traditionally, safety was considered to be a part of 5S as there is less likelihood of any accidents occurring as the workplace becomes neat & tidy after successfully implementing 5S.
Still people have modified 5S & added another S "Safety" to it as it is considered to be so important that it deserves to be considered separately. This makes many people wonder where, when & how exactly is the 6th S Safety implemented.
1. Why to implement Safety - Increasing focus on workers rights & safety in past few decades & compliance with EHS (Environment & Health standards) has made safety very important.
2. What to achieve - By implementing Safety, business organizations show their commitment to workers safety , health & concern for environment.
3. Who does it - Responsible people in organizations implement it as per prescribed standards given by government & other statutory bodies. Compliance with the standards is audited, as per the prescribed legal & regulatory framework of that country or region.
4. When to do it - Its an ongoing process which keeps on continuing all the time.
5. Where to do it - Its implemented throughout the organization, even in those areas where workers rarely go, in order to comply with the environment & pollution control standards.
6. How to do it - Safety is implemented in all parts of the process & work areas, from start of the process to the end part. Its a part of all 5S, like for example:
  • In Sort, when items are red-tagged for removal, proper care is taken to see which items can be dangerous & stored accordingly. When disposing off the items that are not needed, checks are made to ensure that no EHS standard or similar rule is being flouted.
  • In Set in Order, Ergonomic design could be incorporated in workplace to make it a safe place for workers.
  • In Shine, safety concerns & EHS standards & rules can be incorporated in check-lists for workers.
  • In Standardize & Sustain, safety issues could also be given equal importance to efficiency for future improvements.

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