We often read about how 5S strategies and projects can help improve the safety and efficiency of the workplace. For those who are just starting to consider using them in the work place, all of this can seem like a lot of theory without any concrete examples of what things like lean tape, hazard tape, and other items can actually be used for. Thanks to our friends at IEA, LLC, we’ve got some pictures that really illustrate how using these projects can help to improve safety and organization in a real workplace.
In the below picture it is easy to see that this workplace isn’t very organized. There are plenty of work benches, and some supplies all around, but nothing really seems to have a set place. In addition, employees may have a hard time identifying where work areas are, where potential hazards may be, and much more. While this is far from the most disorganized workspace people have ever seen, management at IEA, LLC knew there was room for improvement.
In this next picture, you can see how things have really been cleaned up and organized. Each work table area has its own section, which is clearly identified by the SafetyTac Lean tape (solid yellow). In addition, the Smart Stripe Hazard tape identifies set areas where there are specific hazards that require extra attention.
Placing this tape down around each work bench, and around the work area in general, helps to ensure that people walking through the area know where to go, and that any vehicles that drive through won’t enter an area where people may be working.
5S Products Set the Standard
Of course, as you can see in the second picture, the company also did a lot of organizing. Each box of supplies is stored safely away under the work benches, the trash bins are placed where they belong (and outlined by tape), and things just seem to be much more ‘in order’ than they were before. Some people may point out that simply putting boxes away doesn’t require special tape or other items. While this is true, it also must be pointed out that using 5S products and supplies is a great way to ‘set the standard’ in the workplace.
When an employer uses this type of tape to clearly segment work areas and improve safety, it sets the tone for all the employees to ensure they know that safety, efficiency, and organization are a priority for that workplace. It also helps to increase productivity, so everyone can get their jobs done with fewer delays and problems. To put it simply, using 5S products in one area can help to begin to change the culture of the workplace from one of disorganization, to one of organization.
Reaping the Benefits of 5S
These two simple pictures really help to give managers and others a clear picture of how things can work in a properly run workplace. Even when a workplace is effective and getting the job done (such as in the before picture) there is still room for improvement by using the strategies and products that 5S, Lean, and other methodologies have made famous.