How does 6S differ from 5S?
6S is essentially the 5S System, with a 6th, and very important, S added: SAFETY!
On our What is 5S? page, we learn that the first 5S's stand for:
- Sort (Seiri) – Eliminate all the things in the workspace that are not being used and store them away.
- Set in Order (Seiton) – Arrange the items used on a daily basis so that they can be easily accessed and quickly stored.
- Shine (Seiso) – Everything is cleaned and functioning properly.
- Standardize (Seiketsu) – Develop a routine for sorting, setting and shining.
- Sustain (Shitsuke) – Create a culture that follows the steps on a daily basis.
Now, for 6S we add:
- Safety – Make sure to keep safety at the forefront of every process and action taken.
We all know what safety is, but how do you make your work environment more safe? OSHA and ANSI have set forth certain standards which improve safety, but there is more that can be done beyond just meeting "standards".
5S relies on the concept of a visual workplace.
In order to keep your facility, warehouse, or office safe, you need to visually mark all hazards, stay organized, and put tools and equipment back in their place after use. In order to make sure all employees work to keep this organization, visual cues are key.
Floor Tape can be used to mark aisleways, pallet storage areas, and rack systems. Floor Signs can be incredibly helpful for providing information to workers, like where there is forklift traffic, where an eye wash station is located, where to put the trash can (so it always stays in the same place, or where to park a pallet jack. All of these floor markings are helpful in keeping your work place safe.
Labeling is another method of keeping your workspace organized and safe. Whether you're marking pipes or labeling warehouse racks, filing systems or hazardous materials, labels are key to 6S. Employees are much less likely to be injured if items are put back in their place properly, not to mention will be much more efficient working in an organized environment. A 5S Labeling Package is a cost effective method of creating a visual workplace.
General Safety Supplies
Don't forget the essentials for 6S safety, like Hard Hats and Safety Glasses. Make safety a part of your work culture and you will see results.