5S Lean principles and 5S in the workplace | safety culture (2023)

5S Lean principles and 5S in the workplace | safety culture (1)

5s principles

the story behind

5S esbeltowas developed byHiroyuki Hiranoin post-war Japan, where he was famous for Toyota. By integrating5S principlesin its already famous manufacturing structure nicknamedToyota production systemoTPS, Toyota rose to international fame as a prolific producer of high-quality motor vehicles.

Largely due to Toyota's success, companies from various industries began to integrate.5S practicesin their own processes. HP, Boeing, Harley-Davidson, Nike, Caterpillar, and Ford are just a few examples that have achieved success with the help of5S esbelto.

Why is it important in the workplace?

5Sit's a launching pad for success in the global economy, when done right.Implementation of the 5S system is important in the workplace because it can result in more efficient ways of getting work done.. For example, business processes can flow more efficiently when employees are constantly striving to clean and organize their workspace. Organizations can startmaximize profitspractice 5S whenrecognize the needbe proactive in reducing waste in whatever form it may be: unnecessary movement, waiting time or step in the process.

How to know if your company needs

5S Lean is useful for almost any type of operation, regardless of industry. However, the need to integrate 5S Lean practices depends on how urgently you need to make changes for the good of your business. Here are some signs to look out for to know if you need 5S Lean help ASAP:

You are not satisfied with your operational efficiency

If you feel like you're not meeting your goals or operating at peak capacity, 5S Lean can help identify and eradicate inefficiencies. Using standard work practices, ergonomics, and cleanliness in the workplace will help you make the most of your resources.

Material, manufacturing and/or operating costs are increasing

Companies that do not practice 5S Lean or other similar systems may end up spending more money than necessary due to overproduction and excessive inventory of materials. Inlean build, effort and time are considered to minimize waste. 5S Lean was specifically designed to streamline operations and avoid wasting company resources.

Lack of consistency in quality and production.

Operational inconsistencies in quality and production are directly influenced by workplace ergonomics. adhere toPrincipios Lean 5Scan help companiesimprove operationsPlace machines, equipment, tools, and materials in optimal locations to facilitate access and reduce physical obstructions. By doing so, the amount of time and energy spent locating resources is minimized, resulting in better production and quality.

Increase in customer complaints.

The escalation of customer complaint cases is a warning sign that companies cannot ignore. With the most common complaints about the quality of products and services, the workplace-focused approach of 5S Lean can help employees focus on consistently meeting customer expectations.

General benefits of implementation

While several successful companies using 5S are in the making,5S esbeltoit is versatile enough to benefit virtually any type of operation, regardless of size and industry. Here are some general business benefits of implementing the Lean 5S methodology:

waste reduction

Obvious in the name itself,5S esbeltoaims to "cut the fat" from business operations so that the process and relevant components that remain can operate at full capacity.

More specifically, it intends to eliminate the7 types of garbage:

  1. Overproduction
    By collecting sales and demand data, companies can identify the optimal number of units to produce per production cycle to avoid wasting useful material due to overproduction.
  2. Transport
    This type of waste refers to unnecessary steps identified in the process of transporting materials from point A to point B.
  3. Inventory
    Closely related to overproduction, this waste refers to unused materials and unsold products that take up space and possibly cost the company more in storage fees.
  4. Movement
    Movement refers to inefficient movements routinely performed by machines or workers. This could mean recalibrating machines to optimize actions, replacing old machines with new ones, and/or updating SOPs to make employees more efficient.
  5. Wait
    This is the idle time between two steps in a process caused by a synchronization failure. Ideally, operations should find a way to make independent processes happen simultaneously or "synchronized" to maximize work efficiency.
  6. excess processing
    This refers to putting unnecessary features and frills on products that add no real value to customers.
  7. Defects
    These are expensive bugs that require a significant amount of time and resources to fix. By creating and implementing a SOP based on best practices and using contingencies such as a CAPA report, companies can reduce the likelihood of defects and be prepared to react with a solution if they occur.

improved productivity

Through successful waste reduction, productivity naturally improves. Purchasing only the necessary equipment, materials and tools ensures workers spend less time sorting and setting up and more time producing. Reviewing old processes and streamlining them to be more efficient means you can get more work done in less time.

A safer workplace

Another side effect of a “lean” workplace is increased safety. Having a well-organized and organized workspace reduces the risk of accidents such as slipping and tripping, falling or falling objects, and exposure to hazardous materials.

Training and Certification

As simple as the 5S principles may seem, the best and most effective way to prepare your staff for 5S success is through training and certification. While the exact curriculum of 5S training programs may vary, it is important that 5S training helps your staff understand each of the 5 principles for effective implementation, no matter how many organizational changes are made in the process. path.

What is a 5S training program like?

Training participants are typically tasked with completing individual and team activities that cover each of the 5 principles. 5S training is best conducted at the individual's or team's workplace, as this maximizes efficiency when training is conducted while practicing 5S in your workspace.

Where can I get 5S training and certification?

Several sites offer 5Straining and certification materials. 5S training packages may also include 5S webinars and 5S assessment templates that team leaders and other stakeholders can use to assess participants' application of 5S principles in their workplace.

How to create your own action plan

Knowing where to start, especially when applying a new framework, can be daunting. Here are some basic steps you can take to get started.5S esbeltoin your business:

  1. Triage issues in operations
    To make your starting point easier to identify, make a list of current operational issues affecting your business and list them by level of urgency. This will help identify issues that can be partially resolved or remedied through the 5S principles of Sort, Organize, Light or Clean, Standardize, and Maintain.
  2. Be aware of available resources
    To maximize the potential benefit to your business, you need to be aware of the resources available to apply 5S Lean. Knowing what is available to you allows you to determine the amount of time, effort, material resources, and people that you can commit to 5S practices.
  3. Create a checklist
    After you identify the issues in Step 1 and know the resources you can work with in Step 2, create aCheck listto make sure that what can be done is being done. It also doesn't have to be overly complicated and full of unnecessary details. A simple checklist only needs to include two things: what needs to be done and a yes or no field to indicate completion.
    In addition to helping workers stay more organized, a checklist also motivates them to be more productive. Supervisors and managers also benefit from the use of checklists because the simple division of tasks increases confidence in delegation.
  4. Proceed to the execution of the 5S Lean program
    The previous steps serve to keep the focus on the ultimate goal, which is to maximize the potential of your business. The final step focuses on putting your plans into action. As you execute your 5S program, be sure to take into account complications and other factors that you failed to anticipate during the planning stage. This can help you prepare for future application contingencies and simplify your transition to a 5S-focused operation.

An example of an action plan.

Knowing the basics of 5S, as discussed above, sets you up for Lean success. having a samplePlano Lean 5Sto guide you will help make your first deployment as smooth as possible.

S1: That's why

Action plan:Remove unused machines, equipment, tools, and materials at least weekly from all workbenches, production floors, and operating areas. These items must be tagged and moved to a designated area, where they will remain for 7 days, at which time staff can review the items and retrieve those items that are still needed to perform the job.

All items not claimed by the deadline will be discarded.

Label information:The label attached to each piece of equipment or article must contain the following information:
  • Article name
  • Department that owns it
  • Your intended use/purpose
Adhesive notes:
  • Make sure everyone has been notified of the practice so that no essential machinery, equipment, tools, and materials are removed without department approval.
  • Before disposing of items that have not been claimed after 7 days, please email staff for final confirmation and approval for disposal.

S2 – Brightness

Action plan:

Begin by cleaning existing dust, dirt, and debris from all workbenches and other operating areas. Hire a highly-rated third-party cleaning and maintenance company to ensure proper cleaning procedures are in place and equipment and work areas are protected from damage. Designate a company supervisor to oversee cleaning procedures and ensure that all equipment, tools, materials, facilities, and storage areas are properly cleaned and maintained.

Next, identify the sources of dust, dirt, and debris and work to minimize or eradicate them if possible. For example, if dust accumulates in the office very quickly, check the HVAC filters, as they may need cleaning or replacement.

Finally, create protocols such as a regular cleaning schedule to maintain cleanliness in the workplace.

Elements to consider:
In addition to maintaining cleanliness in the workplace, workers must also:

  • Make sure work spaces are clean and organized.
  • Immediately report identified causes of dirt, dust, and debris that have been overlooked in previous inspections.
  • Use designated covers to protect machines, equipment, materials, and tools from dust and dirt between shifts.

Adhesive notes:

  • Check interior cleaning supplies such as brooms, mops, rags, and cleaning solutions.once a weekand stock up when needed.
  • Use a checklist to ensure that standard cleaning schedules and practices are followed.

S3 - Tidy up

Action plan:

Start by identifying the optimal, ergonomic location for specific machines, equipment, materials, and tools. Some factors to consider would be the distance between two machines being used in sequence or the distance between the materials store and the factory floor. The objective is to locate the installations in their most sensitive places to maximize the efficiency of the work.

Then brainstorm with key stakeholders to find out if the suggested changes are feasible. Discuss logistics, time and budget constraints, room layouts, etc.

Take snapshots of the work area before implementing approved plans and track work improvements to properly measure the impact of changes made.

Elements to consider:

  • Have a floor map posted at the entrance to a room for easy visual reference.
  • Guarantee the correct labeling of tubes, hoses and electrical systems to facilitate repair and maintenance work.
  • Mark standard levels on barometers and gauges so abnormalities are easily detected.
  • Make sure hazard warnings and safe work practices are in place on containers, areas, and necessary machinery.
  • Mark the locations of safety showers and eyewash stations.
  • Make sure the PPE is present, fully functional, and undamaged.
  • Make sure up-to-date work instructions are easily accessible in optimal locations.
  • Make sure quality standards are displayed in ideal places for easy reference.
  • Post good examples alongside bad examples for easy visual reference.
  • Make sure all boxes and containers in warehouses are properly labeled for easy identification.
Use a checklist to assess the impact of changes made after an agreed deadline.

S4 - Standardize

The first three stages of sorting, lighting, and setup introduce new practices that aim to revitalize a workplace through ergonomics and organization. The fourth step is about taking successful experiments and standardizing them across the company.

Action plan:

Start by holding a meeting with key stakeholders and assigning staff to be responsible for standardization across departments and shifts. Ideally, they should be department managers and/or supervisors.

OnceLeaders S4established, proceed with the meeting to reach a protocol on how thestandardization of new work processesWill be implemented. The items to be addressed are listed below:

  • Identify workbooks, protocols, job aids, and SOPs that require updating and assign an S4 lead to lead the necessary updates for each.
  • Contact your company's compliance officer to identify legal documentation that needs to be updated to reflect changes in the process.
  • Create new templates for scheduled cleaning and sorting activities.

Elements to consider:

Coordinate with theISO coordinatorocompliance officerto ensure that all updates and changes comply with ISO standards.


After you implement the standardization, email all interested parties and stakeholders to make sure everyone is up to date on the new standard.

S5 - Hold

S5 is concerned with keeping the positive effects generated by S1 to S4. This section will focus on the use of S5 primarily as an audit initiative to ensure that newly imposed standards are consistently followed.

Action plan:
Once the new standards have been implemented and all stakeholders have confirmed receipt of your email, schedule a meeting with the 5S committee to develop an audit plan to track the positive and negative impact caused by the recent changes. Below are the vital elements of an effective audit plan:

  • Clearly identify the essential aspects of the operation that will be affected by the recently implemented changes
  • Based on the metrics that the 5S committee agrees to monitor, develop an audit checklist that inspectors can use to track changes in productivity and efficiency, as well as gather employee feedback on new processes.
  • Agree the frequency of audits to be carried out and set deadlines for designated inspectors

Elements to consider:

  • Established audit schedules should be easily accessible to interested parties
  • Reward workers who demonstrate initiative and dedication to 5S practices
  • Maintain an organized database of Lean 5S audit results for reference for future 5S projects

Create your own Lean 5S plan

Eliminate manual tasks and streamline your operations.

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Main industries that use it

Initially gaining popularity through its use to improve manufacturing processes, companies outside of the manufacturing industry have discovered that5S methodologyit was versatile enough to be used for other types of business operations. Below are some of the key industries that benefit from the 5S methodology.


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5S in the Manufacturing Industry

Developed bysakichi toyodain the 1970s and integrated into the TPS (Toyota Production System), the 5S helped make Toyota one of the largest automakers in the world. Both in automotive companies and in offices, the materials used for work areEasy accessand work space is maximized by designating areas for furniture, equipment, and accessories. Toyota also uses many checklists to ensure that all 5S activities are carried out consistently. Due to the success of Toyota, 5S has become a standard formanufacturecompanies seeking to maximize their potential.


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5S in the medical industry

emhospitalsand medical practices, 5S Lean can be used to promote order, ensure proper labeling of medications and paraphernalia, and improve overall patient safety. The 5S approach also increases the operational efficiency of medical establishments by making it easier for employees to carry out their work in a streamlined and hassle-free environment.


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5S in the retail sector

5S Lean is a perfect fit for theretail industrysince it favors classification and organization, two elements that benefit both retailers and potential customers.SeiriIt is applied to classify stock in the warehouse so that employees can easily find specific items, and it can also be applied to display cabinets to ensure that customers can find what they are looking for without any problem.seitonit is applied by labeling inventory and equipment for easy identification and placing them in ideal locations for quick access.StandIt is applied to keep the store and warehouses clean and in good condition, whileseiketsumishitthey are applied through the implementation of standards and protocols through training to ensure that quality is maintained in all branches at all times.


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5S in the hospitality industry

The goals of hotels, restaurants, resorts, and other businesses in the hospitality industry naturally align with 5S principles. Organization, order, cleanliness and consistency, qualities that clients seek in a hospitality environment, are achieved through the 5S methodology. Integrating 5S principles into the hotel business culture improves operational efficiency, maximizes resources and increases overall customer satisfaction.

Informatic and tecnology

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5S in the Computer Industry

Hewlett-Packard's computer systems division uses 5S to make building systems more efficient. Having computer parts sorted, properly labeled, and stored in easily accessible areas makes manufacturing faster and easier. In addition, 5S can also be used to speed up work in the software. Labeling frequently used tools so they're easily accessible saves time and promotes higher productivity, and standardizing work practices can keep employee performance consistent across offices and shifts.


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5S in Education

Schools must create a friendly and conducive environment for learning to be effective. Classrooms benefit from 5S Lean by removing all unnecessary classroom items, including leftover seats, desks, lockers, and materials to help students focus. Then, tidying up the remaining furniture and accessories can maximize the space and provide enough space for all students. Ultimately, 5S provides a framework to support the ideal learning environment you establish for each classroom.

General office setup

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5S at the General Office

Regardless of the industry, almost every company has an operations center that handles the business function behind the scenes. Offices that don't practice 5S Lean or a similar methodology often have cluttered desks and storage rooms, as well as cluttered workspaces, materials, and equipment. This type of work environment undermines productivity and inadvertently promotes the waste of resources. Removing unnecessary items and applying 5s in the workplace can increase efficiency and even reduce operating costs.

Implement the 5 in other aspects of the workplace, such asproduct management,project planning, oQA, among others, also helps ensure that the processes within them are organized and set up for success.

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