The third step of the 5S Program entails a thorough cleaning. 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 everything was straightened up and put away in its proper storage location. The third step entails a thorough cleaning of the area, equipment, and tools.
Keeping It Clean
Once you have everything, from each individual work area through your entire facility, sorted (clutter and debris cleaned up), and organized, it’s important 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 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.
Who is Responsible for Cleaning?
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 work in an area also be the ones who are responsible for cleaning that area at the end of each day. This results in:
- work practices that help to keep the work area clean throughout the work day.
- those who are cleaning are also able to inspect the equipment and spot problems.
- those cleaning know the safety hazards that exist in their work area (no need for a cleaning crew that needs to have safety training).
- those cleaning can identify and properly store unusual tools, dies, bits, jigs, etc…
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.
Check out our detailed overview of the 5S System.