Do it right the first time
It will also result in fewer mistakes and fewer corrective measures. Do it right the first time. After reading the book “Lean Safety” by Bob Hafey it is more than ever clear that Lean and Safety work very well together and actually one cannot succeed without the other. Please realise that there are other benefits to a lean programme than just saving lives, time or money, such as: quality, ergonomics, reduced search time, morale, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction/retention, pleasant and organised workplace, etc.
A well-organised workplace results in a safer, more efficient and more productive operation. It boosts employees’ morale, promoting a sense of pride in their work and ownership of their responsibilities. Lean management is a manufacturing philosophy that reduces the total cycle time by eliminating waste (it can also comprise non-value adding steps) or, in other words, by increasing efficiency. It is based on KaiZen (continuous or never-ending improvement) by means of improving the operating culture within a company.
Common sense not common anymore
It is painful to conclude that we have arrived at a point in time where we need to consciously consider management tools to help us behave in a respectful manner. But day-to-day practice shows that more complex business processes and shareholder value focus have driven us away from normal common-sense values or, in other words, common sense is not that common any more.
The top-down approach will no longer have the desired effect of rectifying this lack of safe behaviour. We are convinced that shop floor employees need to be engaged to get from compliance-based systems to proactive loss-prevention systems. Focus on safety is about respect for people. Safety is important and each of us has a responsibility for our own safety and the safety of others.
The use of a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) is a good way of performing the lean approach. It helps to identify the existing or potential hazards of a job, which can then be analysed and recorded.
A JSA, or better still, a written work procedure based on it, can form the basis of regular contact between supervisors and employees. It can serve as a teaching aid for initial job training and as a briefing guide for infrequent tasks. It may be used as a standard for health and safety inspections or observations. In particular, a JSA will assist in completing comprehensive accident investigations.
Four basic stages in conducting a JSA are:
- selecting the job to be analysed
- breaking the job down into a sequence of steps
- identifying potential hazards
- determining preventive measures to overcome these hazards
More details can be found at www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/hsprograms/ job-haz.html
A change in mindset
A change in mindset from Safety Compliance towards Safety Improvement is what is needed and a cultural shift from a top-down management structure to a team-based structure can facilitate this change.
Although the top-down approach will no longer work, it is executive management that must assume the role of facilitator. For effective decision making, there needs to be a flow down of Responsibility, Authority and Accountability (RAA) to the teams from the lean programme management. Organisational space has to be created to allow employees to continuously think about ways of improving their part of the process.
This breaking down per sub-process or departmental approach is known as Kobestu KaiZen or Blitz KaiZen. In general, the entire focus of KaiZen is on perfecting business operations and includes the following steps:
- Involve the people who implement the value stream or work process being improved. This allows the people closest to the problem to make an impact.
- Focus on making improvements by detecting and eliminating waste, hazards and unsafe conditions.
- Use a problem-solving approach that observes how the work process operates, uncovers waste. Generate ideas on how to eliminate waste, increase safety and make other improvements.