What is 5S and the 5S Methodology?
By Matt N. and Wes Wyatt
On this first episode of Warehouse Safety Tips, we’re going to go over a high level explanation of The 5S Methodology – what each S stands for, and even a BONUS S for safety.
Why Should I Use 5S?
We thought our first tip should include something that integrates Safety, and that’s exactly what The 5S Methodology does. Whether you’re someone who knows nothing about 5S, or someone who works with it everyday, the subject of 5S is something that needs to be ingrained in your facility. Here are just a few of the reasons why:
Firstly– it will make you more organized.
Secondly– it will make you more productive.
Thirdly – it will make your environment much safer.
Lastly – and most importantly, it will save time and money, which makes EVERYONE happier!
What is 5S Methodology?
Now, we’d like to explain what 5S is. Developed in Japan, 5S Methodology is a philosophy that advocates using specific steps to organize the workplace, as well as working practices. Its goals are to improve efficiency and eliminate waste, while improving safety and morale in the workplace.
There is a Japanese Word synonymous with The 5S Methodology – “Kaizen”. It comes from the words “Kai” (which means change) and “Zen” (which means to make good/better). Put them together, and you have the principle of constant improvement and/or a change for the better.
What Do The 5 S’s Stand For?
The steps to improve efficiency are:
Sort (Seiri): This step is where you sort and categorize items, and separate what is needed – allowing only the bare essentials needed for operation and removing everything else. The elimination of excessive items frees up space, saves time, improves process flow, and allows staff to operate efficiently.
Straighten or Set in Order (Seiton): This step is arranging items that are needed so that they are easy to locate, transport, and use. You should identify locations for these items, so that anyone can find them. Once the task is completed, return the items to the specified locations.
Shine (Seiso): Clean the workplace and its equipment on a regular basis in order to increase safety, maintain standards, and identify defects.
Standardize (Seiketsu): Revisit the first three S’s of the 5S on a regular and frequent basis, and evaluate the condition of the workplace.
The Bonus S for Safety (6s)
Over the years, there has been an additional S added to the mix – which actually makes the 5S Methodology – 6S Methodology, and that’s –
Safety: The addition of SAFETY means you should constantly be looking around your facility to identify issues that can or could possibly affect your staff, production, service, and/or your overall facility – and work to eliminate those issues.
And what in the past would have been the 5th S, but is now the 6th is –
Sustain (Shitsuke): Maintain the standard, and improve every day. This S allows you to strive for continuous improvement!
The Wrap Up or Summary
If you visit WarehouseSafteyTips.com you’ll find the Show Notes for this episode. In those show notes, we’ve provided the Japanese Word for each corresponding step of the 5S Methodology.
As previously mentioned, we’ll dive deeper into each part of the 5S Methodology on future Podcasts and on our WarehouseSafteyTips.com site. But until then, we hope you enjoyed the basic layout of the NEW and Improved 5S Methodology!
Thank you for listening to Episode One of Warehouse Safety Tips – and have SAFE day!
Information from Warehouse Safety Tips!
If you’re a seasoned Podcast Listener – this podcast is going to be different from most you listen to. It’s based around exactly what the name implies – Warehouse Safety Tips. And since the people in this industry are busy, we understand that time is money. Because of this, each episode will be as short and to the point as possible. You can find the show notes to each episode, links to information mentioned on the podcast, the social media platforms we’re on, and anything else related to the podcast at WarehouseSafteyTips.com
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