5S Tools & Techniques to Get Back to Work Safely [Webinar]

Created

Download a PDF of the slides from the webinar by clicking here.

As the world begins to return to a new normal after the COVID-19 outbreak, get back to work safely with these tools. 

There are principles and best practices used in 5S methodology that can be very helpful in helping businesses with cleaning and social distancing practices.

Join David Visco, author of 5s Made Easy and founder of the 5S Store, as he shares tips and tricks for applying 5S principles to aid in the prevention of coronavirus spread. In this webinar, you will learn:

  • How to use visual cues for social distancing 
  • Plans for cleaning that prevent cross-contamination
  • Ways to help workers remember new habits
  • Ideas for creating personal workstations for employees with shared spaces

Resources for Getting Back to Work Safely Mentioned in The Webinar:


Transcripts from the 5S Tools & Techniques to Get Back to Work Safely Webinar

To download a PDF of the transcripts click here.

Maribeth:

Hello folks, and thanks for joining. Before we get started, we have a few housekeeping items that we’d like to review with you. The first is that the hashtag for the webinar is #StopTheSpread. Feel free to post any insights that you may have from the webinar using this hashtag. Also feel free to ask any questions you might have via the chat or the Q&A capability anytime during the presentation. We’ll attempt to answer all the questions at the end of the presentation, but if your question isn’t answered today, someone will follow up with you after the webinar. This session is being recorded and it will be sent to you following the presentation for your own purposes to review it or to share with others.

Maribeth:

Now I’d like to introduce our speaker. David Visco is a 5S expert. Beginning in 1985, David launched his career as a warehouse control manager, running a distribution center that managed inventory of over $500 million in value. As he furthered his career, he gained extensive experience across warehouse, production planning, logistics, and materials management. Using 5S in the workplace he saw a unique opportunity and a need for 5S resources, and in 2006, he founded The 5S Store, the first online store dedicated entirely to 5S. The 5S Store produces a massive range of 5S products, free best practices content, and coaching services to thousands of clients.

Maribeth:

In 2015, his first book, 5S Made Easy, was published. Today, in addition to his role at The 5S Store, he frequently speaks publicly on the topic of 5S best practices. Take it away, David.

David:

Hey, thank you, Maribeth, and thanks everybody for showing up today. Let’s see. So we are going to go over 5S tools and techniques to get back to work safely. All right, so our agenda today. So I’d like to give you a way to think about your role, to maybe think differently than you have in the past. We’re going to go over reasons for new habits and how to enforce them and the importance of visual cues. We’re also going to talk about some social distancing considerations and some cleaning considerations, followed by a Q&A.

David:

Okay, so first I’d like you to consider this, right? There’s so much unknown right now, everybody’s on edge. Nobody knows where this thing’s going to settle up at the new normal, but as leaders, it’s up to us to set the tone, and I’d suggest that you consider taking it from an empathy track. So considered the discussions that people are having at the dinner table. So I’ve often used that technique when there are challenging times. I mean, just try to put yourself in their seat, right? I mean, you are more than likely in their seat because all of us are in this together. But for folks that are reporting to you, think about what it is they’re going to, what are they talking about with their family and whatnot, and really try and empathize with them.

David:

Your team is going to be looking to you for leadership. And something I remind people all the time, including myself, is that you’re always on stage as a leader. You’re on stage at home too, but when you’re on the workforce and you have people that are reporting to you, or for that sake, people you are reporting to, you’re always on stage. People are always watching. So try and to take that higher limit. What we did here at The 5S Store when all this first started happening and I had to furlough some folks, we also got on the phone call with customers and I was reminding my team like, “Hey, make sure that you think about where those people are coming from, what’s going on in their lives, so that when they call The 5S Store for help, try and be a little uplifting and whatnot, because there’s so much doom and gloom going on right now.”

David:

Realize that your team wants to feel safe coming back to work, right? So we’re all in this mess, thinking about, “Oh geez, how is the factory going to reopen, or am I going to be safe? Should I be going to work yet? Should I stay home,” et cetera. So folks have a lot on their mind, so you want to put a standards and best practices in place for bringing them back safely so that they feel safe. And we’re going to go over a lot of that stuff. And you certainly want to provide an environment that will help with personal hygiene. We’ll show you some ideas there too.

David:

So the goal is to reinforce the new standards, right? Social distancing and cleaning isn’t going to work unless people comply. So how do you get them to comply? Well, success means keeping people informed of the new standards while also holding them accountable, right? So you’re going to be putting these new standards in place, like “When you come to work, we need to wave a wand in front of your head to make sure you don’t have a fever,” that type of thing, and that’s kind of weird. So those types of things you want to set as a new standard. And then other standards you’re going to put in place, which is, “Wash your hands at work,” or, “Keep six feet away from each other.” You need to hold them accountable to do the new standards that you’re putting in place. It’s for their own safety.

David:

So it also means putting reminders around about the new habits and procedures. Have posters here and there, have a weekly newsletter. We’re going to go over a number of different things you can put in place, but make sure that you’re constantly beating home the message that, “You’re here at work, you’re going to be safe. These are the policies that you need to abide by, and we’ll all be fine.” And then you’ll use a combination of actions and objects that are going to be necessary to reinforce and institutionalize these new behaviors. And we’ll go over some of those.

David:

So ways to help your workers remember new standards. Like any other habit change, remember that it’s all about changing behaviors. So this is all new to everybody, right? So you got to remember that, that these are new behaviors that they’re going to have to get used to, and it takes time. These new behaviors must become the new standard. To implement these new standards and policies you’re going to need to lead with compassion, set clear expectations, train the group leads, I’ll talk about them in a second, and hold people accountable.

David:

So just like any other lean initiative where we’re trying to change behaviors, this is the same thing. You have to make sure your expectations are clear. People know exactly what you’re expecting of them, and those group leads are going to be key for that. Group leads are the folks that the people on let’s say manufacturing for reporting to, and those group leads help push all of the new standards down to the rest of them. So you’re going to want to spend some extra time training those group leads in how they’re going to go about setting these new standards. It’s a very tricky situation for them too. So you really get to think about everybody that’s involved and where they’re at positionally and whatnot, and what do you do to help them?

David:

Employing visual cues help to reinforce new habits, but you can’t always trust those things to get done. So we’re going to go through some ideas on how to make sure they get done. Implement objects that can be used in a preventative fashion, adjust the safety or 5S audits to include social distancing and cleaning standards. In Today’s World, I was looking at the 5S audit form and I’m thinking, “Geez, we’re going to have to add another section eight just for sanitation or whatnot.” So you want to make sure that this is incorporated and in those. Communicate about all the new standards, like I mentioned, with newsletters, signage, huddles. Make sure it’s captured in your weekly meetings or what have you, in gemba walks. So I would suggest if you’re doing gemba walks to also have a social distancing eye on things.

David:

So the goal of visual cues is to get immediate attention, right? Like a stop sign, for instance, or these signs right here. I mean, it’s kind of hard to miss like the fold-up, the, “Do not enter.” If you’re walking into an area and you’re seeing that, you’re immediately told exactly what to do. You need these visual cues to influence behavior and keep people six feet apart these days. You also want to remove any uncertainty or confusion, because uncertainty and confusion lead to fear. And everybody’s a bit confused these days, so it’s really important to put visual cues in place that help people feel safe, either them be employees or customers.

David:

Social distancing, things to consider for getting back to work safely. So some tips for social distancing and visual cues success, as a litmus test, if someone walked in off the street and they saw your visual cue, would they know the message you’re trying to give 100%? if there’s any… I used to do this when I was working in the past for our 5S program, we would use this litmus test as a, “Are we ready for a tour? Are we ready for an audit, for that matter? Would somebody be able to come off the floor and know exactly what all the messaging is telling me?” So you could try that with any visual cue you put in place. We’ll show you one in a minute where it isn’t necessarily totally understood.

David:

You want to make sure you include the employees in developing these visual cues, right? Just like with all the other lean initiatives you might be doing, you don’t do it to them, you do it with them. I think we all know that by now, but just a friendly reminder there. And remember, it’s continuous improvement. You don’t have to do it all at once, it doesn’t have to be perfect. All you try and do is little small steps of improvement every day.

David:

So here’s a confusing verse clear message. It was funny, I was at… This one on the left, I was actually at that store and there were people in front of me and they weren’t really sure what to do. So what a much clearer message would be is the one on the right. It clearly tells you, “Keep six feet away.” It tells you where to stand, more or less. So you want your messaging to be extremely clear. And they need to be clear and concise. So this is the best practice right here. Just make sure your visuals don’t only have words, but also have some physicality to them that is giving you a message.

David:

Now the best practice is social distancing PPE boards. So with these here that we provide folks, we don’t have one here yet that has social distancing products on it, but you can mix and match and make this look however you want as a PPE board. And you can put it even, if had to, as an example, you could make one up and put it right in the lobby so that when people visit the facility, they’re going to see something like this and right away it’s going to be crystal clear to them what PPE they have to put on.

David:

Social distancing: The goal of adapting workstations. So, in today’s world, it’s really important that we have our space that we could call our own. So you need to redesign your workstations to enforce social distancing rule while people are at work. You also want to protect public face and employees for germs. Sorry. For example, I’m sure you’ve been out and about shopping a little bit, albeit with a face mask on or whatnot, but you’ll see a lot of stores now have plastic shields, plexiglass shields, or a sneeze guard as they’re calling them, to protect one person from another.

David:

Today somebody sent me an idea that I thought was pretty cool. I’m sorry I didn’t get the image up here, but it was a plexiglass that was on a stand and it could go right on your desk so that anybody coming in to talk to you, there’s already a shield right there to protect you from them. I thought that was pretty interesting. I’m going to be contacting them today and see if we can find those for you people. You also want to make sure that you’re removing all certainly or confusion as to what the new workplace standards are. You want to make employees or customers feel safe.

David:

For employees in contact with others, OSHA suggests using face guards or sneeze guards, like I just talked about. Face shields can be an added layer of protection too, like you see here in the first picture. And implementing those plexiglass dividers at work can really come in handy, like you see here in the picture on the right. They’re clear and they allow people to see one another is doing, and you can easily see that you could talk to somebody like this and not worry about coughing on them or what have you.

David:

Here’s another example in a work environment. So here we have mobile workstations in place, right? And there’s also a large plexiglass shield right behind them. So if somebody wants to come over from one area and get in front of this person to talk to them, they can stand in front on the other side of the plexiglass and talk to the gentlemen. Now, something else I would actually add to this picture is to put those footprints on the other side of the glass so that people would know exactly where to stand. That type of thing really comes in handy.

David:

With these workstations here, the reason why they’re so effective is in today’s environment, we need flexibility. So these are battery powered so there’s no wiring necessary. You can run a whole computer off of these mobile workstations and you never have to shut it down. The batteries are interchangeable and whatnot, so it makes it easy for people. In sense, they’re mobile, you can call it your own, right? So that nobody else is touching it or whatnot, or spreading germs. So it’s a really nice, simple solution that you can put in place.

David:

Traffic control: barriers are preventative. So there’s a number of different ways to send clear messages to people, but these stanchions really come in handy. They prevent people traffic where people traffic shouldn’t be. And you can think about it even in like a bank, or not this kind, but in a bank or a movie theater, we’ve all seen those in the past. They could come in handy big time on a factory floor. And you can have the belts made with certain signage and whatnot, and you can even have signs made that go on top of the poles. So they’re a great way to direct and segregate foot traffic.

David:

You can use the printer belt with, like I mentioned, and you can place it some in a warehouse on the receiving dock to contain visitors into a safe space. So maybe you would use these, the black and yellow ones, depending on your color standards, you would use these at the receiving dock, and you’d also have footprints there and you would have your social distancing sign with the PPE on them, that type of thing. And the great thing again is these are flexible. I think flexible tools and solutions right now are really key because we’re not really sure where this is all going to wind up in the long run, so having flexibility will really come in handy.

David:

Cleaning: Things to consider for getting back to work safely. So the goals of cleaning these days is to keep areas sanitized, to prevent the spread of germs, to remove any uncertainty or confusion so that people, employees, and customers can feel safe. So you want to have cleaning standards that will allow everybody to feel safe for going to work, basically. So some cleaning basics. New cleaning guidelines mean that your old standards for cleaning may have changed, right? The current general CDC guidelines say soap or water first, followed by an EPA registered disinfectant such as Clorox or Lysol. And you can refer to the CDC and your state guidelines for industry specific details. But develop policies for worker protection, right? Make sure you put new standards in place that everybody’s trained on and make sure that the cleaning staff totally knows what to expect and what it is that you’re going to hold them accountable to.

David:

Training should include when to use PPE, when it’s necessary, how to properly put on the PPE, and how to take it off, and how to properly dispose off it. Right? I think there’s been a lot of talk in the media about people not disposing of these devices properly, so like people seeing gloves everywhere. Where you have a glove, you go out shopping and whatever, and you take the glove and you put it down or you touch your face with it. Well, guess what? You just passed the germs back and forth. So cleaners need to know exactly how to handle, and employees need to know how to handle all these devices that we’re suddenly found using like face masks and whatnot. And you want to ensure workers are trained on the hazards of cleaning chemicals used in the workplace in accordance with OSHA’s guidelines.

David:

One thing you could do is implement the cleaning schedule. So I’ve shown this document a number of times, and it could be used for so many different things, but OSHA states that maintaining good housekeeping is a great way to reduce the spread of germs. No kidding, right? But this form here, you can actually download off of the 5S Made Easy tab on our website, the5sstore, and just edit it to use it however you want to. But it’s a nice visual way of maintaining a clean workplace. So you can also add cleaning stations like this disinfection station right here can really come in handy, and you can make it however you want. But you could see here, it’s totally mobile. I mean, you can’t see the wheels on the stand, but this is mobile, take my word for it. And you can have sprays, wipes, gloves, everything that somebody needs to make sure that as they’re coming into a work area, that they’re safe. They’ve got everything available to them, right?

David:

Point of views, one of the keys that lean in 5S. Provide visual cues with signage. So there’s a lot of different posters out there and whatnot that you can hang up regarding COVID-19 or reminding people to wash their hands. Visual cues are really important. They should be everywhere as far as your PPE standards go and cleaning practices and whatnot. Use color-coded solutions to prevent cross-contamination. So it’s a preventative best practice to color-code every workstation. Color-coding ensures that all the tools stay in their proper place, and OSHA discourages people from sharing tools. So what a lot of folks are doing right now for hand tools, they’re using this Plasti Dip product, and they’re changing the color of the handles of their tools. You just dip it in the Plasti Dip and you let it dry for a bit, and then you’ve got this nice coating on your tool. So you could color-code your tools with the same color code cleaning supplies.

David:

For example, let’s say you have a workstations in that immediate area, you can have eight different color codes so each station would have their own colors. Maybe they would have an orange handle for a push broom, orange dustpan, orange barrel, et cetera. And then they would use the orange Plasti Dip to color the tools that way. And the idea here is you would make sure that there would be no other color in your area, and you should never see another color in somebody else’s area. It should always be very standardized. It’s a really nice way of doing it. It’s fairly cheap to do too, and it’s very effective.

David:

So I saw this the other day. I just thought it was kind of funny. I used to be a big Peanuts’ fan in the day, Pig-Pen, “Social distancing since 1954.” with that, I will turn it over to Maribeth for questions.

Maribeth:

Thanks, David. We have had a few questions roll in, so thank you to our viewers for submitting your questions. And certainly, it’s not too late so if you have additional questions, you can put them in the Q&A panel now by hovering over the bottom part of your window. And you’ll see an icon pop up, just click the Q&A. So let’s get started with our first one. The question is, “Can you give an example on how you’ve seen those color-coded cleaning tools used?”

David:

Sure. I most recently saw them in a warehouse that I was at. So it’s a big warehouse with long aisles, and at the end of each aisle, they set up a board that shows the tools that that area should be using for that particular aisle. So each person in the team was responsible for maintaining a certain aisle in the warehouse and they had their own color-coded cleaning tools for doing so. So those were their colors. There should never be like a blue broom used over in the orange area, if you will. So that’s where I saw them use it as a really nice, simple way of doing it.

Maribeth:

Excellent. All right, for the next question here, “When it comes to floor marking, we have a bilingual audience, so what do you recommend for best practice on floor marking?”

David:

Well, that’s a good question. With floor marking, you got to remember, if the visual is going to be clear and concise, there should be an image involved, not only words. So for example, let’s say you have on a manufacturing floor where forklifts might go by. You could have a no pedestrian sign. So it says, “No pedestrians in this area,” and then to be a picture of a pedestrian with a slash going through it, so using words plus visuals. Also, if you were to set up standard colors on your manufacturing floor and whereby like marking off where a pallet goes is… Let’s say a pallet of finished goods is marked off in yellow while there’d be a sign nearby that showed all your color codes and yellow means finished goods, so you would outline it with yellow and everybody would be able to know exactly what that was because you set a standard up previously for them.

Maribeth:

Excellent. Next question, “Are you getting new products specifically for COVID-19? And what have been the most popular?”

David:

Yeah, it’s pretty interesting. Capitalism, you got to love it, but there’s so many solutions out there right now. We actually put a page on our website that’s just for social distancing products. So we have floor signs, some of the ones you saw here, sneeze guards, and whatnot, and a lot of color-coded cleaning solutions as well. So we’re always looking for other new solutions, which I mentioned earlier. We also have a vendor right now that’s working on some sneeze guards for cubicles, so to go between the cubicles, and that’ll be pretty sweet. But yeah, there’s a lot on the market right now.

Maribeth:

Here’s the next one. “Please share tips on how to raise awareness among workers.”

David:

Okay. Well, I think like we talked earlier, when people are first coming back to work, right? Let’s think about that. The first day they’re going back to work, I would say before that day, everybody should be communicated through, at home, on their email about, “Hey, this is how the new standards are going to be, this is what we’re going to do when you first come into work that day because there’s so much unknown.” So put those standards in place, feed it out to the folks before they actually return to work, so give them a heads up.

David:

And then when they come in, what I would suggest you do is have a huddle, by department or whatnot, after they’ve already come into the building and they put their PPE standards in place, huddle with each team, and make sure that they understand the new standards, and leave it as an open discussion too, so that people can say, “All right, this is what we’re going to do.” And ask questions about it as they come up, because you’re not going to get it perfect right away. But then you also… What’s really important to this question is you also have to hold people accountable to the new standards for everybody’s safety. So you need to make sure that you’re prepared to deal with people that might break the rules because people over time are going to feel more… Actually it might not even take that long. A few days back at work, they might feel comfortable again and maybe go back to the way they were used to things in the past.

David:

So you need to be able to hold those people accountable to the new standards, and with tact and diplomacy, of course, right? You got to pull them aside, be willing to do that. I think that would work. Just getting together with folks on a regular basis. I would say early on, do a 15-minute daily huddle. I mean, that’s what we do here just to go over new standards and handle any questions on this topic. And maybe over time, it can spread out to every other day or something. But it’s all about communication and never being too busy to do it.

Maribeth:

David, we still have questions coming in, and we’ve had two come in that are fairly similar questions so I’m going to read both of them just to make sure that you cover off on content that answers both. The first one was, “We have a very high traffic environment here, including continuous forklift traffic. Tape and floor markings get destroyed quickly. Do you have any suggestions on how to make floor markings last longer?” And then the second question was, “We’re doing a lot of floor taping in our facility. Do you have recommendations on the best tape that we should use?”

David:

Those are two great questions and I can certainly help in that regard. We actually, we have on our 5S Blackboard page, you can check that out, we have a new tape guide on there that would let you know what type of tape you should use and how to install it and whatnot, for your particular areas. For the heavy forklift traffic issue, I mean, I hear that all the time. I’ve been dealing with that for 14 years now, and what I find a lot of times, and I spoke about this on my last webinar, so you can always go check that out on the Blackboard also. But what we find is people using the wrong tape for their particular environment. So certain tapes are better on porous floors than smooth floors, first of all. So if you have a porous floor, you have to use one type of tape, but then you need to make sure to install it properly. And that tape guide will help in that regard.

David:

But if your workers are dragging pallets, nothing’s going to hold up over time so you need to set a new standard for that. If you want to reach out to me personally, I’d love to talk to whoever that person is and actually find a really good solution for them. They could use that tape guide on Blackboard, 5S Blackboard, but I’m certainly happy to help them because it’s one of the biggest issues everybody deals with.

Maribeth:

Great. And, David, I have a question here where somebody said, “How do I get that tape guide?” So could you explain again where it’s located for them?

David:

If you go to the5sstore.com and you click, you have [inaudible 00:29:24] learn, there’s a floor taping guide right there. You can click on that.

Maribeth:

Great. And I also think that Rena just put the link in the chat as well for folks so that they can get access to the free guide.

David:

Oh yeah, thanks for that. I want to go to that previous question really quick that said they have a lot of difficulty with floor tapes staying down. You can also use, instead of full lengths of tape, you could just use corner markers or like three inch dots to delineate a line or whatnot. So there’s less material to get dug up or you could try the LED signs that we have which shine down on the floor for like stop or no pedestrian or that type of thing.

Maribeth:

Great. All right, so we have our final question here before you wrap things up, David. The question is, “Applying safety protocols and construction projects, we already have very demanding regulations. How can we make the introduction of a useful tool like 5S without overloading our workers?”

David:

Oh, wow. That’s a whole different discussion, quite honestly, and I don’t think I have time to take that call. I actually have some really good ideas in that regard, so why don’t you give me a call or throw me an email at david.visco@the5sstore.com? Actually, I am going to show the last slide because the last slide has all the ways to reach me. So I want to stay in touch with you folks. I’m here to help, certainly, and you should never feel too shy to reach out. There’s my book, 5S Made Easy, that can be really helpful. And then we have a lot of free online content that we’ve mentioned in best practices on 5S Blackboard. And you have my email there and our website there, and of course, we’re all over the social media too. So I hope that was helpful to you and that I hear from those few people and we’ll take it from there. I wish you all the best. Thank you very much.

Comments

Related Articles