5S and workplace housekeeping

5S refers to the 5 lean cultural principles which allows a workplace, be it a factory or an office to become orderly, uncluttered, and an environment which provides its employees the right environment and tools to complete their work as efficiently as possible.

-Sort: Un-clutter the workspace, sort tools, equipment and work station layouts. Eliminate unnecessary items which take up space and reduce workflow.

-Shine: Make sure equipment and plant items are properly maintained, properly labeled and have clear operating procedures that operators can follow in day to day operation and for training purposes. Equipment that is properly maintained and operated not only lasts longer but provides a positive and productive work environment.

-Set in order: Make sure operators and staff have clear access to the required tools to complete their jobs. This can be achieved by clearly labeled shadow boards, tool/spares stores and offices where tools and equipment are stored, designated work areas defined, and a everything has a place, from chairs, to employee lunchboxes and work clothes.

-Standardize: Standard work procedures (refer to standard work definition) allow all operators to perform tasks or work activities in the same way every time. This process is usually commenced by having standard operating procedures for tasks performed regularly.

-Sustain: Ensure these practices become part of the workplace culture, encourage a clean and un-cluttered workplace, where employees can perform their tasks efficiently and are proud of their workplace. Inspect what you expect and specify that the standards above are as important as any other KPI in the business.

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