When Hiroyuki Hirano developed the concept of 5S at Toyota, he detailed five specific steps: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke. While this was great for sorting and setting the area, many people have been asking, what about safety? Over the years, organizations have been answering that question with the 6S system.

6S is the extension of 5S – the organizational methodology instrumental to the Toyota Production System and Lean manufacturing. As the name implies, the system tacks on an added “S” step to the original five steps of 5S:

  1. Sort: Remove unnecessary clutter.
  2. Set in Order: Arrange materials and equipment in a logical manner.
  3. Shine: Clean the space.
  4. Standardize: Create procedures to ensure 5S is performed the same way every day.
  5. Sustain: Diligently follow up your 5S efforts and implement systems to gauge effectiveness.
  6. Safety: Identify and address hazards causing injuries, delays, or damage.

Those in favor of 6S contend that eliminating risks in work process merits in own phase, while 6S critics argue safety is already well supported within 5S. 6S is primarily adopted by manufacturing facilities, but is a concept that can benefit safety in a variety of industries. Whether your facility sticks with the 5S basics or you choose to try out 6S, safety should still be a focus throughout implementation.

At Creative Safety Supply, we’re dedicated to help organizations improve safety and efficiency. With expert resources in occupational safety as well as manufacturing and business concepts, we have the resources you need to implement a 6S program.

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6S Articles

6S: Safety

6S: Safety

Safety is the additional sixth step to the traditional 5S method. A company that implements 6S focuses on improving organization and efficiency, with an emphasis on safety throughout each step.

Lean Supplies

Lean Supplies

Learn what supplies and tools you can use to make Lean manufacturing efforts successful.

The 5S System [Lean Manufacturing Methodology]

The 5S System [Lean Manufacturing Methodology]

One of the most comprehensive pages you will find on 5S.

6S Questions and Answers

Why was 6S Developed?

When asking about why 6S was developed, you must look at two distinct things. First, looking at why the precursor to 6S was developed. 5S has been around for quite a long time and was developed to help companies find different types of waste in the workplace and eliminate it. This helps the company to… 

Is 6S the Same as Six Sigma?

The concepts of 6S and Six Sigma are often used together since they are both related to improving the way that a business operates. While the names seem similar, and they are often discussed together, they are actually two separate and distinct systems that can be used by a company. Companies can implement these systems… 

What is a 6S Audit?

If you own or manage a company, you will want to do everything you can to eliminate waste and improve the efficiency of the organization. For many companies, the best way to do this is to start implementing 6S strategies. 6S is a very popular concept that takes six separate ideas, each of which start… 

What are the Tools of 6S?

6S is one of the most popular and most effective workplace improvement strategies used today. By using the six strategies listed in this methodology, you will be able to better find and eliminate waste throughout your facility. Of course, just knowing about different steps you can take to get rid of waste is not going… 

What are the Benefits of 6S in Production?

If you are looking at the 6S system for your facility, you will undoubtedly want to know about the benefits that it can provide. Implementing workplace improvement policies like 6S will take some work, so you want to ensure that the benefits will outweigh the costs when it comes to production improvements. 6S (and 5S) have… 

What are the 6S principles?

If you are looking for ways to improve the efficiency of your company, you have likely run across the concept of 6S. This is an excellent tool that is used by millions of companies around the world to try to find and eliminate waste in the workplace, which helps them to operate more efficiently. The first… 

Is 6S safer than 5S?

Many companies today are debating whether they should implement the traditional 5S tools or move to the newer 6S option. On the surface, the biggest difference is that the 6th S in 6S stands for safety. This should mean that safety gets more focus with 6S than 5S, but many people wonder whether facilities that… 

Is 6S still considered Lean?

Running a Lean manufacturing facility is a great way to make sure that your company is operating as efficiently as possible. The concept of Lean businesses focuses on finding and eliminating all different types of waste and running as efficiently as possible. There are many different strategies that can be followed to attempt to achieve this… 

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… 

What Does 6S Stand For?

One of the most popular Lean tools used today is known as 5S, which can help to improve processes in just about every working environment. The 5 S’s in this tool stand for sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain. Many people are pushing for the adoption of a 6th S, which would stand… 

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