How is 6S different from 5S?

If you are looking for ways to improve the efficiency of your company, you have likely heard or read about concepts like 5S and 6S. Learning about each of these options, and knowing how 5S is different from 6S, will help you to decide which of the options is going to be best for you and your facility. The main difference between these two options is that 6S has one extra point of focus, which is safety. The first 5 concepts (sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain) will remain the same whether you are following 5S or 6S.

Some people believe that the concept of safety is already built into 5S and does not need to be separated out. From this point of view, improving the way a facility works and focusing on efficiency is going to naturally produce a safer work environment. In addition, it is necessary to make sure that the workplace is safe, or it will have more downtime and other types of waste. Those who follow this concept will want to stick with 5S and just make sure to include topics related to safety to get the best results.

More and more people, however, are recognizing that safety is important enough that it deserves its own category. In addition to keeping employees safer while on the job, a direct focus on safety is going to improve efficiency and eliminate waste in ways that would not likely happen otherwise. Therefore, a growing number of companies are embracing the 6S name and taking steps to directly address all types of safety concerns.

Whether you call it 5S or 6S, you want to always be working to improve the way your company operates. With a continuous focus on improvement, you will be able to run a facility that is more efficient and safer for everyone.


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