Time to 5S your facility!

June 18, 2019
Get your rolls of yellow tape ready to go, and lean into decluttering your work areas.

5S – or Stand, Squat, Sit, Shut Up, and Kneel – is a set of exercises that should be done at your facility to make it ergonomically correct. Let’s go through each of the 5S elements to understand implementation for world-class ergonomics. Get your crew involved for maximum impact.

STAND. The first “S” is Stand. As a group, stand in a circle, looking at each other. Once you are in a circle, have someone with some yellow tape put the tape on the floor in a circle around everyone. This will mark where to stand the next time.
Tip: Finding circular tape can be a challenge, so maybe have people stand in a square to simplify.

SQUAT. Once the tape is laid as your foundation, begin the second “S.” That is Squat. Squat, then stand. Repeat this 10 times so that we get warmed up. We do not want you or a team member to pull a hammie or a groin muscle or get carpal tunnel in your wrists.
Tip: While participating in this exercise that we will never go through again, maybe sing a song like “I’m Too Sexy” to keep everyone engaged.

SIT. The third “S” is sit. Sit just on the inside edge of the yellow square so the person with the tape can tape around you. This will mark where to 5S the next time. Try to sit as close to the big square as possible, as we want the tape job to look very professional.
Tip: This should look like a big square, with many little squares inside the big one. Remember, everything has its place.

About the Author: The Captain

Captain Unreliability is a satire of the state of the manufacturing industry in ’Merica today and is written by an industry professional known for using humor to get the point across. Stay tuned for more useless advice, and if you have topics you’d like to see covered or questions you’d like The Captain to weigh in on, contact The Captain directly at [email protected] or follow on Twitter @CUnreliability.

SHUT UP. This leads to the fourth “S”, shut up. Sit there and shut up so the person who is taping around you can concentrate. They do not need distractions, as they could color out of the lines.
Tip: If you have to say something, do it with your “inside voice.”

KNEEL. The fifth “S” is Kneel. Kneel doesn’t start with an “S” you say? Well, little do you know, the “S” is silent. The reason for kneeling is to push down the tape that you have been surrounded by. It will bubble because you did not clean the floor first, like I told you to do above.
Superstar Tip: Those who do yoga will have a greater advantage in this stage. It will also help to sustain the yellow tape markings for a longer period of time.

Now that the 5S’s are complete, never use them again, as most do not see the value in them. There are many factories in America that you can walk through to see how ergonomically correct they are. There will be evidence left everywhere. The goal is to be like everyone else and make sure there is plenty of tape all over your facility. Those factories with the most tape tend to be best in class, so tape your way to success!

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