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Rules for setting up a workplace.

Core 5

Seiri (Sorting)

Eliminate all unnecessary tools, parts and instructions (process steps).  Examine all tools, materials &c in the plant/work area.  Keep only what is essential and eliminate what is not required.  Prioritise items according to their requirement (how often they are required).  Most frequently required items should be most accessible.  For physical items, workers should not need to bend or stretch to reach them, nor should they have to travel unnecessarily.  If something is not needed it should be disposed of..


Seiton (Straightening/Setting in order/Simplifying/Stabilising)

Have a place for everything and everything in it’s place.  Then place for each item should be clearly labelled and defined.  The arrangement of items should serve the efficiency of the work. Equipment, tools and parts should be kept close to where they will be used.


Seiso (Sweeping/Shining)

The workspace should be tidy and organised, no clutter or rubbish.  Items should be returned to the correct place after use.  Maintaining this should be an ongoing process of daily clean up, little and often, not just an occasional ‘big bang’ when things get too untidy.

Seiketsu (Standardising)

Work practices should be standardised.  Everyone should be familiar with what tools are used for a job and where they are when using a different workstation/location.

Shitsuke (Sustaining)

Maintain and review standards.  Embed the above 4 S’s as the way to operate.  Maintain focus and avoid decline into old or ineffective work methods.  Review processes for improvements and solicit suggestions for improvements.  Training and Development should be a continuous process, not just a ‘big bang’ then for get about it until the processes change.  Reinforce the processes and the rationale behind the processes to keep the knowledge fresh and reduce unintentional backsliding or slipping off process into bad habits.

Additional Two S’s, sometimes included


Safety should be maintained through out.  Processes should not harm or overly tire workers.


Leverage security as an investment, not a cost.  Identify and address key risks.  Pay attention to fixed assests, materials, employees, brand equity, intellectual property, information technology, assets in transit and the extended supply chain.