Seiso: Make Everything Shiny

Seiso, also known as shiny clean, is a one-step cleaning procedure in the 5S method. This step’s major goal is to serve as a guideline to help organizations like hotels, factories, and other companies to adopt a lifetime cleaning culture.

It serves a major purpose of helping organizations to succeed in improving their professional image, reducing incidences of sick offs, increasing employee job satisfaction, and increasing customer retention.

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Below is a complete guide to help you understand Seiso, alongside helping you adopt new cleaning standards in your organization.

How to get started with the "Shiny Clean" step

5S - Seiso

5S - Seiso

This third phase of the 5S serves as a guide to help you adopt a culture that will keep the outside and inside environment of your organization clean. Unlike most cleaning procedures, this step will involve company executives and all other workers within your organization. This is not the regular duty since we often leave casuals to work on.

Some of the practices that make up the step include, sweeping, shining, scrubbing, cleaning, and supervising. Not only does this step focus on the cleanliness of the working space and the organization’s surrounding, but it also focuses on that of tools and other equipment within the premises of an organization.

To get started with Seiso, you will need a source for cleaning tools and cleaning agents that will be used in the one-time procedure. Depending on your company’s ability, you will either purchase or hire.

Create a Team

The next step is to form a dedicated cleaning team in the organization. The cleaning team does not need to be composed of the organization's casual workers. Managers and other top executives should also play a role if you want the best outcome from this step.

After organizing your team, you ought to inform them what the cleaning procedure is and its advantages to the organization. Afterward, you need to take photos of the current cleanliness situation in your organization. These pictures will help you and your organization’s employees to compare the situation before adopting Seiso and the results after utilizing the cleaning procedure.

Identify Areas to Shine

After sourcing for the right tools and composing your team, move on to identify the various areas and/or equipment that needs to be cleaned within your organization. Also in this step, you need to determine the cause of the problem, the person responsible for taking action, and the solution to the problem. Make sure to collect more information that will help you formulate and maintain a sustainable cleanliness plan.

After identifying the problem, get your cleaning team to start working. Divide your team into smaller groups and allocate each group to work in particular areas. Some of the working areas that you would consider include the equipment, open floor spaces, work stations, storage areas, and any other area that needs to be cleaned.

Inspect Your Work Areas

Inspect the cleaning process and take records of the areas cleaned. After the process is completed, take photos of the final results. The results will form the basis of your organization’s new cleaning standards.

The trick in this step is to get your workers through the right cleaning procedures. As such, you might hire a Seiso expert to take you through the whole process so that your employees will adopt the proper cleaning.

Changing the Culture with Seiso

Since this 5S's step is a one-time cleaning procedure, you will have to make it a routine practice if you want to achieve consistent growth in your organization. You need to know that maintaining it as a culture is not an easy task. The process will require time, and you will even need to formulate policies to help you make it a routine practice.

Some of the guidelines that will assist you during the implementation stage include:

  • Consider this 5S step a daily activity.
  • Create time for the cleaning activity once a day.
  • Prepare supervision check- sheets that will help you document and supervise the daily activity.
  • Distribute responsibilities to your cleaning team, so that everybody knows what is expected of him or her.
  • Formulate ways to prevent dirt by identifying and fixing sources of dirt.
  • Document all areas that need cleaning on regular basis.
  • Finally, make it a culture by doing it daily, creating a 5S day in your organization, and establishing guidelines and policies to support Seiso.

The Seiso Procedure

The secret to adopt a good Seiso is to take the right cleaning process and make it a simple task that all workers will not find a problem adopting.

1. Divide your organization according to the different areas that need cleaning.

You would need to classify your organization into various places that will need regular cleaning. Some of the subdivisions that you can consider here include working spaces, offices, the environment outside your organization, equipment, stores, and many more areas. Dividing your team will help you formulate cleaning procedures that suit individual areas. Furthermore, the subdivisions will help you when allocating responsibilities to various employees.

2. Train your employees

The next important thing in implementing a Seiso culture is to train your workers. In this stage, help your organization's employees to understand the purpose of maintaining good standards of hygiene in the workplace. Also, you need to train your workers to understand the correct cleaning procedure and their responsibilities. Another important theme you ought to include in your cleaning culture is to educate employees on the right use of equipment.

3. Provide personal protective equipment

You should place the health and safety of your workers on the frontline. This is because handling some cleaning tasks without proper personal protective equipment might cause injuries to your workers.

Depending on the nature of activity, you will provide safety equipment like gloves if one is handling corrosive cleaning agents and respirators in case your employees will be working in poorly ventilated places. You may also need to provide other personal protective equipment like face masks, foot protective, goggles, and any other important equipment.

4. Source for the right tools

To adopt a proper Seiso culture, you are required to find a source for the right cleaning tools and agents. The right tools and cleaning agents will make cleaning easy, less time consuming, and perfect. Another reason you will need various tools is that each cleaning task is different, hence you will need different cleaning tools.

For instance, you just need a wiper with some mild detergent to clean dusty surfaces while you will need a vacuum cleaner to tidy carpets. If the asset that needs cleaning is a machine, you would need tools to help you disassemble parts that need to be cleaned. Besides having the right tools, you will be required to purchase specially formulated solvents that won’t corrode surfaces.

5. Clean The Cleaning Tools

Another important factor that you will consider when implementing the new working standards in your organization it to make arrangements to clean your cleaning tools. Since you will need your cleaning tools regularly, you will be required to clean them after use or before storage. Cleaning the tools extends their lifespan while protecting them against damage that can result from dirt or other elements.

6. Formulate policies to support the implementation of the culture.

Since the cleaning procedure will be long-term, you will need to make policies that outline the responsibility of each person, the procedure to be followed, the time that the cleaning will be carried out and many more policy guidelines that will help people to work in a coordinated manner.

Why Should You Implement Seiso?

Just like other steps in the 5S methodology, cleaning improves your organization’s productivity by enhancing its image, prolonging the lifespan of the equipment needed in your organization, and safeguarding your employee’s health.

Below, we highlight the various ways in which any organization will benefit from Seiso.

1. It improves employee health

The first advantage of any cleaning activity is to safeguard the health of all people working in your organization. As we all know, dirt is the leading cause of work-related sicknesses like allergic attacks, breathing problems, flu, vermin infestation, headaches and even skin irritation.

Maintaining proper hygiene is a precaution to boost the health of your workers alongside improving their productivity. It will also reduce the number of sick days, a common problem that lowers the success of an organization.

2. It boosts employee satisfaction

Seiso increases employee satisfaction by helping workers to create a positive impression of their working space. According to experts, a messy office is one of the top factors that kill the morale of an employee. Nobody likes to work in littered places, poorly ventilated rooms or an office whose windows are tinted with dust. If this describes the offices in your organization, then you need to adopt the third 5S step to make your employees appreciate their working space.

3. It improves the image of an organization

Another importance of adopting an everyday cleaning procedure is that it enhances the picture of your organization. The first impression that suppliers, customers, and business partners encounter before entering into your organization’s premises is the looks of your organization’s environment.

Almost everybody is naturally drawn to clean facilities because they depict that the property owner is mindful of his/her environment. On the other hand, a dirty or littered environment will tell your clients that yours is an irresponsible organization.

4. It promotes the longevity of assets

If you have been looking forward to keeping your products for long, then you need to clean them on a routine basis. Poorly cleaned assets, like equipment, machines, floors and others, have a reduced lifespan as compared to those that are well-maintained. An everyday clean- up of you assets eliminates outside elements like dust, stains and all other elements that destroy equipment.

5. Cleanliness reflects professionalism

Another magic brought forth by this important 5S step is professionalism. A tidy working environment depicts your organization’s dedication to detail and thoughtful planning. On the other hand, a messy working environment littered with poorly arranged files, pieces of paper, oil spills, and dust-filled desks can wreck your professionalism within a short time.

6. Clean light fittings enhance lighting efficiency

Dust on light fittings reduces the amount and quality of light in your working environment. Poor lighting paves the way for accidents, like falls, and reduced ability to complete tasks. Hence, cleaning the dusty light fittings is the solution to increase lighting that will curb the issue of accidents and other inefficiencies related to poor lighting.

Based on the outlook above, Seiso is a crucial step that helps companies to improve their productivity and image through the simple tactic of maintaining cleanliness. The step sets a basis for the cleaning process and standards required to sustain a culture.

The next 5S method is called Seiketsu

Author: Eric Raio

Eric Raio is one of the founders of Factory Solutions. When he isn't plotting new ways to create awesome software. He likes to geek out about flying drones and technology.

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