Lean manufacturing has become a very important concept in business improvement. Most large organizations have devised tools and systems to help align their businesses towards lean enterprise and reap the benefits of improved efficiency and waste reduction. Most people associate lean manufacturing with business production unaware that it is a broad concept that can also be used in other sectors within an organization. Lean methodologies can be applied even in safety circles all with an aim of increasing workplace safety and productivity.
Unsafe practices lead to waste
As a safety expert, it is always crucial to get involved in lean initiatives as you have a huge role to play. Safety is a major concern within an organization and an insecure environment is prone to wastages of both physical and monetary nature. Workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities have been recognized as the major causes of sluggish production in the workplace and often results to losses to the tune of billions of dollars annually. Through lean methodologies, ways of reducing this loss and wastage should be devised.
The objective of lean manufacturing is to reduce wastage and also to check on production. It has the purpose of creating a leaner working environment that is efficient. Overproduction can more often than not result into huge wastage within an organization. This wastage of can be in terms of excess goods or workers burnout. This can create room for injuries or strain. There should be measures put in place to check on production to ease the strain of the workers thus creating a safer environment for the workers to be in.
Most of the accidents that occur in the workplace are as a result of movements form one corner to another. This can be due to movement of personnel or movement of equipment and machines. Lean manufacturing emphasizes on effective use of space and creation of order within an organization. A safety officer should pay attention to devising ways of reducing unnecessary movement of both personnel and equipments especially in areas considered to be hazardous. There should be emphasis on placing of tools and other equipments on areas where they are within reach and also where they are regularly used.
Checking on defects
Defects in the workplace are also major causes of inconveniences and increase the exposure to injuries. There should be a proper system of quality assurance not only of the products but also of the working area. Such a system should concentrate on detection and reportage. Proper reporting systems will ensure there is timely response an addressing of any defects ensuring a safer working environment.
A lean enterprise has an emphasis on reduced workflow processes. Wastage often arises in situations where production occurs in huge steps creating room for inefficiencies and waiting time. It is important that these processes be reduced and unnecessary processing steps be done away with. These steps do not only increase wastage but also increase the exposure of employees to situations of uncertainty and injuries.