Environmental 5S

Posted on 4 Sep 2008 by The Manufacturer

How can 5S contribute to helping the environment? Rob Thompson provides an insight...

* Painting the machines and the equipment light colors and cleaning the windows, often done under the Shine pillar, decreases energy needs associated with lighting.

* Painting and cleaning makes it easier for workers to notice spills or leaks quickly, thereby decreasing spill response. This can significantly reduce waste generation from spills and clean-up. The removal of obstacles and the marking of main thoroughfares decreases the potential of accidents that could lead to spills and associated hazardous waste generation (e.g., spilled material, absorbent pads and clean up materials).

* Regular cleaning, as part of the Shine pillar, decreases the accumulation of cuttings, shavings, dirt, and other substances that can contaminate production processes and result in defects. Reduction in defects has significant environmental benefits (e.g., avoided materials, wastes, and energy needed to produce the defective output; avoided need to dispose of defective output).

* 5S implementation can significant reduce the square footage needed for operations by organizing and disposing of unused equipment and supplies. Less storage space decreases energy needed to heat and light the space.

* Organizing equipment, parts, and materials so they are easy to find can significantly reduce unneeded consumption. Employees are more likely to finish one batch of chemicals or materials before opening or ordering more, resulting in less chemicals or materials expiring and needing disposal.

* 5S visual cues (e.g., signs, placards, scoreboards, laminated procedures in workstations) can be used to raise employee understanding of proper waste handling and management procedures, as well as workplace hazards and appropriate emergency response procedures. 5S techniques can be used to improve labeling of hazardous materials and wastes. In addition, environmental procedures often are separate from operating procedures, and they are not easily accessible to the workstation. 5S implementation often result is easy to read, laminated procedures located in workstations.

* Integration with 5S visual cues and operating procedures can improve employee environmental management.

Article originally posted to Rob’s LearnSigma blog – here.

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