The third step of 5S is Seiso, a Japanese term translated to mean Shine. During Shine, workers are encouraged to do a deep cleaning of their space, ensuring there is no grime, dust, or oil spills remaining. However, it is important to remember that cleaning is not the only facet of this phase and that Shining also includes inspection and routine maintenance. While employees are completing the sanitization of their work cells, it is a great time for them to also conduct inspections on the equipment, tools, and machines in the space.
The goal for Shine is to keep everything in great working order so it lasts as long as possible and doesn’t break down.
In order for this phase to be successful, you will need to standardize a program for cleaning and maintaining the space. It is everyone’s responsibility and should not be left to the janitor or cleaning crew. Each area in the workplace should have an assigned worker or group of workers who are in charge of keeping it clean and well maintained. As employees are doing their daily cleaning routine, they should be inspecting tools and machinery for damage as well. Include this in the daily checklist to make sure it gets done.
Periodic routine maintenance should also be done at this time. Some examples are checking the oil level in machinery, tightening up belts, hoses, nuts, and bolts, or checking if tools need sharpening. Clean and properly maintained tools and machines will increase safety in the workplace. Fewer injuries and less downtime equate to higher morale and higher productivity. In addition, it can will ensure these items will have a longer lifespan, meaning you won’t need to purchase costly replacements or pull equipment out of service for maintenance.
What if an employee sees a pool of oil that wasn’t there before or notices a safety hazard?
If it is a quick fix, instruct workers to put a maintenance tag on it and to notify their supervisor. If something needs further evaluation, keeping a maintenance log you can fill out that will ensure further action.
And don’t forget your computers and other of office equipment! They need to be defragmented (PCs) and air-dusted periodically to keep them in good condition.
Having a clean workplace will make it much easier for workers to notice when a piece of equipment as a leak, or for a machine operator to know when their machine needs to be serviced. When inspections and maintenance is done on a regular and frequent basis, you will find less time is needed to conduct these tasks and well-maintained equipment will last much longer.