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:
- Sort: Remove unnecessary clutter.
- Set in Order: Arrange materials and equipment in a logical manner.
- Shine: Clean the space.
- Standardize: Create procedures to ensure 5S is performed the same way every day.
- Sustain: Diligently follow up your 5S efforts and implement systems to gauge effectiveness.
- 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.