5S - Principle so Basic it’s Brilliant
Lean manufacturing efforts have been around for more than a century but perhaps there are none quite as simple and effective as the 5S (five-step) method. 5S was designed to eliminate waste, improve cleanliness and enhance quality control at a manufacturers’ most basic levels.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, when executed correctly the 5S lean manufacturing system will enhance productivity and minimize the use of excess material. By following the five-step process and using its visual cues, leaders and workers at manufacturing facilities can experience a more orderly workplace and improve operational performance.
The 5S method is reported to have made its manufacturing debut post WWII as part of the Toyota Total Production System process and has been implemented at manufacturing facilities around the world. The root of this methodology came from Kaizen – the system of constant improvement and a key part of lean manufacturing. Kaizen is actually a Japanese term that means “the real place” so it’s no surprise the rally cry for 5S is “a place for everything and everything in its place.” It was implemented with the notion that most improvement and competitive success will come from efficiencies created on the factory floor.
What Each S Pillar Stands For
So, what do all the “S’s” stand for?
Research shows that worker powered communities within organizations deliver stronger workplaces with less waste, higher quality and better safety
Employee engagement has undoubtedly been a hot topic in recent months. As we head into the new year, it will certainly remain a key focus as companies look to adopt new technologies and management strategies to drive not only a culture, but a community of high performance. In other words - a worker-powered workplace.
While companies may be investing heavily in worker engagement programs, according to Harvard Business Review those seeing real change are going beyond the typical employee engagement surveys and driving worker engagement at all levels through more consistent touch points. They are focused on long term worker-powered strategies and experiences designed to drive retention and increase satisfaction. Simply put, having an environment that truly invests in its workers so that they are motivated and engaged results in innumerable benefits not just for employees but for the employer as well.
Writer Martin Murray began his career developing supply chain software and has experience with supply chain and ERP implementation projects in industries including aerospace and defense, pharmaceutical, electronics, chemical, and consumer product goods. Martin has published eight books on supply chain topics in ERP software and his articles have appeared in a number of publications, including SCM Expert magazine and Maritime Gateway magazine.
For anyone interested in lean manufacturing principles, Murray has written an excellent primer on the concept and importance of reducing resource waste for more efficient and effective manufacturing. The excerpt below is followed by a link to the rest of the article.
The Origins and Principles of Lean Manufacturing
By Martin Murray
The push towards lean manufacturing originates from the Toyota Production System which is often referred to as Just In Time (JIT) Production. The Toyota Company became successful after World War 2 when Japanese factory owners adopted a number of American production and quality techniques. The manufacturing techniques of Henry Ford and the Statistical Quality Control ideas of Edwards Deming became the foundation of Toyota’s production process.
Unlike the American automotive industry, Toyota encouraged employees to be a part of the production process. The company introduced quality circles, which was a group of workers who meet to discuss workplace improvement. Quality circle members make presentations to management with regarding the quality of production. Read the rest of the article here.
In discussions that examine trends in technology and manufacturing regarding the next generation of workers and the evolution of the roles they're hired to fill, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty has coined a new term -"new collar jobs." New collar workers are people who develop the technical and soft skills needed to work in increasingly "smarter" industries through nontraditional education paths. Typically they can to adapt quickly and easily to changing roles based on advancements in technology. Ideally, workers in new collar roles are trained in advanced technologies like cybersecurity, data science and artificial intelligence.
The fact that these new collar workers are expected to be flexible as the employment landscape changes isn't the only thing that's unique about them when compared to workers of previous generations. Many new collar workers are the attend vocational schools, or perhaps have some kind of focused associate's degree in terms of higher education. Less emphasis is placed on achieving a bachelor's degree. Instead practical skills are prized above all else, prioritizing vocational training over a traditional four-year degree.
November brought us some interesting articles on workplace safety. From simplifying the workplace to America's safest companies to a plant manager's salary and more, this month's articles offer a lot of food for thought.
1. How Workplace Simplicity Impacts Company Results
by Kimberly A. Whitler for Forbes
Turns out there's wisdom in the old acronym K.I.S.S. - simplifying the workplace breaks down barriers and drives better organizational results. And the simpler the workplace the more psychologically safe workers feel, which makes them more effective workers.
Corvex and MCR Safety will partner with EHS Today on November 13th. The webinar, Achieving Digital Transformation of the Workforce for Better Safety & Productivity, will take place at 2:00pm ET and will run for 1 hour. The webinar is free to attend.
The webinar will feature a panel of industry leaders including Ted Smith, Co-founder and President of Corvex Connected Safety. Other participants include Abby Ferri, the Ferri Group and Paul Harris, Vice President of Product Strategy and Innovations for MCR Safety.
The panel will discuss how IoT, Smart PPE and data management work together for new possibilities for safety. They will give examples of worker-powered safety as it is facilitated by connected devices, real-time data and safety zones. They will also discuss how current mindsets must change to allow for greater digital transformation in safety.
Attendees will come away with knowledge of the next steps in moving toward connected safety that keeps workers connected and engaged, and lets management run predictive, proactive safety programs.
Visit the EHS Today site for more information and register today!
We've got a roundup of the best safety articles online this month. From marijuana legalization to the handy IoT, overdose reversal medicine to mental health, this month's articles are hard-hitting and don't shy away from the deep and important topics the safety industry must tackle today.
1. As New York Heads Toward Marijuana Legalization, Employers Grapple With Workplace Safety
by Janita Kan for The Epoch Times
There is currently no agreed-upon standard for measuring marijuana impairment, so predicting marijuana's effects on safety in the workplace will be difficult. And what happens when safety infractions from the result of a legalized drug affect a company's income? The bottom line is marijuana legalization presents a number of hurdles to overcome in safety, legality and economics.
In our newest video Corvex President and co-founder Ted Smith dives into what it really means to "connect" the worker in a modern work environment. Traditional management perspectives might consider digital tools distracting. But in reality they engage workers as part of digital transformation. In fact, many digital transformation efforts stall because the organization's most important asset - the worker - is ignored or at best, disempowered.
Listen as Ted explains the concept of a worker-powered environment enabled by technology. Connected workers an an invaluable component of leaner, higher quality, safer work environments.
Representatives from Corvex will be at the world's largest annual safety event, the NSC Congress & Expo October 20th - 26th at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. Corvex will be exhibiting at the NSC Expo from Monday, October 22nd - Wednesday, October 24th at Booth 3455.
The NSC Congress & Expo showcases safety products, educates with speakers and seminars and offers great networking opportunities for those in the safety industry with more than 14,000 attendees, exhibitors and speakers. The event is hosted by the National Safety Council, The nation's leading safety advocate for more than 100 years. The NSC is a nonprofit organization with the mission of eliminating preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.
We look forward to seeing you in Houston next week. Be sure to stop by Booth 3455 to learn more about the Corvex Connected Safety Platform.
Keeping Workers Safe in Real Time
The benefits of a connected workplace
Technology impacts our lives and connects us in more ways than we could have ever imagined, whether at home, at work or in our daily routines. We track our steps, measure our heart rates and monitor our sleep. Smartphone apps allow us to quickly find a ride service. We can download any bestseller onto our tablets in minutes. At home, we have smart devices that turn on our lights, give us messages or play favorite songs at the sound of our voices.
On a professional level, building a similarly connected workforce is a critical component of worker safety, particularly in the waste management industry where safety risks are often higher. The University of Illinois School of Public Health completed a study showing that workers in the recycling field are more than twice as likely to be injured on the job as the average worker. Reports also show that fatalities among waste management workers are also higher than other industries.
While many industries embrace a connected landscape, workplace safety is an area which has received less attention when it comes to a digital transformation. But Although many industries are also embracing a “connected” landscape, one area that has been slower to embrace this digital transformation is workplace safety. Although a connected, digital safety strategy often seems like a time-intensive endeavor, new technologies are improving site safety by offering real, measurable results in a much shorter time. In fact, the latest innovations in SMART personal protective equipment (PPE) offer options that can have tremendous impact. And in the field of waste management, technological advances which have had a positive effect on safety include GPS tracking and inspection systems as well as high-definition camera systems, with removable storage, that record data.
To read the rest of the article, visit Recycling Magazine here.