You’ve probably heard of 5S. If so, you know it’s a method for organizing a work area to increase efficiency and productivity while reducing waste. 6S is based upon the 5S of the visual workplace in the Toyota Production System, plus one more safety factor. 6S is often the first method companies implement in their Lean project since it serves as the foundation of future continual improvement efforts.
6S is a method used to create and maintain a clean, orderly, and safe work environment. It consists of:
- Sort (Get rid of it): Separate what is needed in the work area from what is not; eliminate the latter.
- Set in order (Organize): Organize what remains in the work area.
- Shine (Clean and solve): Clean and inspect the work area.
- Standardize (Make consistent): Standardize cleaning, inspection, and safety practices.
- Sustain (Keep it up): Make 6S a way of life.
- Safety (Respect workplace and employee): Create a safe place to work.
As you can see in the list above, the 5S (take away the Safety in the 6S listed above) is a simple tool for organizing your workplace in a clean, efficient and safe manner to enhance your productivity, visual management and to ensure the introduction of standardized working.
Adding safety to 5S can be as simple as remembering to keep safety in mind at each of the 5S steps. The 6S works together to support improvement efforts at your company. They help increase productivity, reduce defects, make accidents less likely, and reduce costs. Here is the 6S template to present your work and findings: