5S Part 3: Your time to shine

|  2 minute read

Two months ago, we looked at the difference between an untidy workplace and a co-ordinated workplace. Last month we took the next step and saw how organising our space prompted an efficient workplace. This month we’re looking at the next step in 5S: Shine.

So far we’ve worked hard to clean the workplace up. Shine is about all the extra touches and maintenance of your workplace. Shine, like each stage of 5S, is an ongoing process and requires vigilance and compliance from all members of staff.

Now that your workplace has everything organised, the next step is to do the rounds and clean, whether with a broom or hose. This isn’t a stage to leave to a janitor or the new apprentice, either. This stage is integral to not only maintain a clean station, but also incorporates the inspection of machines and equipment.

It is a lot easier to notice safety concerns around the workplace when conducting a physical inspection. For example, while practicing the Shine process, the recognition of a puddle of oil, dented pallet wrap or rusty tools allows employees to act and eliminate concerns before they become problems. Shine not only keeps your business looking good, but you will be able to regularly and quickly inspect machines and tools in passing. Practicing Shine as a regular habit will help prevent issues with equipment and help provide a safe workplace for staff.

The results from Shine should be apparent from day one of its integration. At Signet we had clear floors, easy workplaces, and walking through the warehouse didn’t leave you with a fresh layer of dirt on your clothes. Our aerosol cans production shot up because the machines rarely have issues, and the previous stages of 5S benefited greatly from this ongoing process.

Other results also include:

  • An increase in workplace safety (cords are cleared from floors; puddles are mopped up)
  • Ongoing refuse not taking up space (improving the functionality of Sort and Set by putting packaging boxes away)
  • A cross-trained understanding of workplace standards
  • A clear workplace staff can be proud to work in.

A feature of Shine that can often be over looked is a tidy workplace also helps clear the mind, reduce stress, and improve employee satisfaction. That’s a cleaner workplace and happier employees all from one stage of 5S. This isn’t one person’s responsibility, either. We will speak more on this in the next S, Standardise – but making cleaning everyone’s responsibility will push your workplace into a proactive state of productivity. Set the standard, and be the model; the next time you see that tool out of place, or a left over wrapper on the floor – that’s your time to Shine.

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