6S Lean: 5S + Safety 6S (otherwise known as 5S + Safety) is a system that aims to promote and sustain a high level of productivity and safety throughout a workspace. While adhering to the 5S principle of Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain, the 6S method adds the concept of Safety. 6S not only helps organizations promote efficient working environments but also establishes a sustainable culture of safety.
The 6 S’s in 6S Lean:
Sort (Seiri) - often called “red tagging” where items and materials not needed for work are removed.
Set in order (Seiton) - this step deals with organizing tools, equipment, and other items by grouping them based on their function, putting labels, and placing them in accessible areas so that workers can easily reach them when needed.
Shine (Seiso) - includes activities like cleaning the workplace, maintaining its pleasant appearance, and using preventive steps to keep workspaces tidy and clean.
Safety - the additional step which focuses on identifying hazards and setting preventive controls to keep workers safe during work operations. Use a digital safety checklist to identify common warehouse and manufacturing hazards.
Standardize (Seiketsu) - is the method of establishing a new workplace norm by providing visual reminders, setting expectations of workers’ responsibility, and conducting routine inspections and regular site checks.
Sustain (Shitsuke) - the long term goal and most challenging step of the 6S method where standardized procedures must be continuously applied until it becomes habitual.