17 March 2022

5S at Kiwa Fire Safety & Security

The Kiwa Fire Safety and Security lab works according to the 5S philosophy. As 5S leads to a better and more efficient workplace and therefore a shorter turnaround time of the tests it improves our services to you. In this article we discuss the basics of 5S.  

What is 5S?

5S is a means of creating a tidy workplace and keeping it that way. 5S was conceived and designed for production companies, the "manufacturing industry". However, 5S is a philosophy that can be applied much more widely. It may not be possible to implement all aspects of 5S, but the basis certainly can be: a good, tidy workplace is also important at the office, in a lab or test environment.

It comes from the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota and is part of the Lean system they developed (which in turn is based on the principles of Henry Ford).

The 5 S's stand for:

1 Seiri Sort Retain what is needed
2 Seiton Arrange, organize (straighten) Organize things in a way that you can find them quickly
3 Seiso Clean (shine) Keep things clean
4 Seiketsu Standardize Do the things in the same -and therefore- right way
5 Shitsuke Sustain Persist with willpower and dedication

What can you do with it?

As said, 5S are the tools to maintain a tidy workplace.

The benefits are:

  • Safer workplace (less accidents )
  • Less time spent searching because everything has a fixed place (more efficient work)
  • Better maintained tools through control (cost saving)
  • More efficient use of resources

NL_Kiwa FSS Products Lab.jpg

How does it work?

5S starts with the tidying up of superfluous items; unused articles and/or tools are disposed of.

Items and tools that are needed are given a fixed place. The rule is: the more often you use an item, the closer you place it to the workplace. Items that are rarely used can be stored elsewhere.

Check all items and tools for their condition and if necessary maintain and clean them.

Mark the place where an article or tool is placed so that it is clear what should be there if a tool or article is not in its place because it is in use.

Clean up immediately after the work before starting a new job or at the end of the working day.

Make 5S part of the daily work routine.

Make a schedule where everyone in rotation is responsible for checking and maintaining the workplace so that it becomes everyone's responsibility.

Do regular audits so that the attention does not wane and the progress becomes visible.

Give appreciation for achieved results.

Management must give attention, time, budget and space so that employees feel supported and remain enthusiastic.