Modern Machine Shop

JUN 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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Page 30 of 204

COMPETING IDEAS MMS JUNE 2018 28 Manufacturing Management Safety and the Organized Workplace Many companies have implemented 5S programs for the purpose of improving organization in work areas by sorting out what is not needed; setting in order what is needed; shining the work area to promote cleanliness; standardizing orga- nization through adoption of work-area rules or guidelines; and sustaining organization through regular auditing of the work area to ensure con- formance to the prescribed standards. However, many have suggested the need for a sixth "S" to specifically address safety. Although it is always good to draw attention to safety in the workplace, I believe it can be incorporated effectively within the other five points. When embarking on a 5S program, companies should proceed through each point sequentially. This is a proven path to creating and maintaining organization. Likewise, this approach ensures safety issues are addressed as the organization effort moves forward. Here's how: • Sorting. The goal is twofold: Identify things that are not needed, and limit the quan- tities of things that are needed. Evaluating ever ything contained in an area has an added benefit of seeing what equipment really is being used and if it is operating properly and safely. It is a chance to review potential risks to operators and other employees working in the area. Often, the condition of equipment and its potential for unsafe operation is a determining factor in whether it stays or is removed. Effec- tive sorting reduces the amount of clutter in an area, leading to reduced hazards and an all- around safer work area. • Setting in Order. This requires finding the best places to keep necessary items. Safety plays a major role in selecting these places. Decisions regarding storage of large and heavy items, handling and storage of tools and other sharp objects, location of areas that must be kept clear (such as aisles and spaces in front of utility panels), and the best location for safety equipment (fire extinguishers, safety showers, eyewash stations and more) must be made in the interest of employee safety. • Shining. This must factor in safety. Clean- ing chemicals must be handled, stored and disposed of properly. Brooms and mops must be stored somewhere that is easily accessible but secure when not in use. Simply propping up such WAYNE S. CHANESKI | COLUMNIST Sustaining organization must include work-area audits to ensure that safe practices, such as wearing PPE, are being followed. There is no need for a sixth "S" in the 5S system.

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