The Global Leader in Workplace Labeling & Signage
By Steve Hudgik
The first step of 5S involved cleaning up the clutter and sorting out what was needed from those tools, materials, and supplies that are not frequently needed. In the second step of 5S everything was put away in its proper storage location. Now it's time to do a thorough cleaning.
Once you have everything, from each individual work area up to your entire facility, sorted (clutter and debris cleaned up), and organized, you need to keep it that way. This requires regular cleaning, or to go along with the theme of having five words that start with the letter S, "shining" things up.
5S shine involves more than pushing a broom around a work area once a week. It involves regular, usually daily, cleaning. The work area should be returned to the condition it was in when the day started - including putting away all tools, materials and supplies used that day.
While cleaning it's easy to also inspect the machines, tools, equipment and supplies you work with.
Having a clean work area has many advantages. One of the more significant is that it makes it easy to spot fluid leaks and equipment that needs maintenance. When a work area is clean machine operators can notice malfunctions such as fluid leaks, vibration and misalignment, and breakages. These problems, if not addressed, can result in equipment failure, safety hazards, and loss of production.
5S shine is not just the job of a janitor or a cleaning crew, it is everyone's responsibility.
Every work area should have a person, or group, assigned to clean that area. The best approach is to have those who do the work in an area also be the ones who are responsible for cleaning that area at the end of each day. This results in:
No area should be left uncleaned. See the workplace through the eyes of a visitor. For example, if you are leaving at the end of the day and spot some scrap paper just inside the front door, pick it up. Take the responsibility for keeping your entire workplace clean, if doing so can be done safely.
When done on a regular, frequent basis, cleaning and inspecting generally will not take a lot of time, and in the long run will most likely save time.