We are quite familiar with Lean’s 5s. How can we use them to improve safety? Enter the 5s + 1 or 6s approach.

We learn how from Gary Beaudette, Lean Consultant and owner – Baudette Consulting, Inc.

5s can improve safety, quality, and productivity. In particular, 5s can have a tremendous positive impact on safety.

5s helps reduce or eliminate the top three causes of workplace injuries.

  • Overexertion
  • Trips and Falls
  • Struck by Object or Equipment

SORT: Remove trip hazards 

STRAIGHTEN: To make work easy

SHINE: Be “tour ready” at all times. Organized, clean, and safe.

STANDARDIZE: For safety. Visually obvious. What procedures do we need to keep our people safe?

SUSTAIN: Celebrate. Make it part of the culture.

You can view Gary’s presentation here. 

Next, let’s learn how 6s is used at Weber’s Distribution Center.

Ensure that the facility is safe, clean, and healthy.

SORT: Keep paths clear and easy to get products quickly

SET-IN-ORDER (STRAIGHTEN): Carefully mark areas

SHINE: “A clean place is a safe, healthy, and more productive place.”

STANDARDIZE: “Consistency is the key to success.”

SUSTAIN: “Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”

Focus on Safety: “Arrive home in the same condition as you did to work.”

Their 6s Audit:

  • Conducted weekly
  • Allows senior management to monitor supervisors
  • Prepares the facility to be “tour ready” 24/7
  • Gives every employee a sense of pride

You can watch Weber’s 6s Training video here. 

And finally, Bryan McWhorter, Health and Safety Manager, discusses how 5s+1 improves safety.

There are two main ways that 5s+1 drives safety.

  • Removing clutter makes hazards easier to see
  • By instilling visual order

Therefore 5s+1 improves safety by focusing on the two main areas that cause accidents.

  • Unsafe conditions
  • Unsafe behaviors

You can view Bryan’s brief video here.