Definition of 6S:

6S is 5S but with an extra S for safety.

5S is a system for instilling order and cleanliness in the workplace. The S’s stand for:

  1. Seiri or sort
  2. Seiton or straighten
  3. Seiso or shine
  4. Seiketsu or standardize
  5. Shitsuke or sustain

As translated, the Japanese terms mean the following:

  1. Seiri‚ Put things in order (Remove what is not needed and keep what is needed)
  2. Seiton‚ Proper arrangement (Place things in such a way that they can be easily reached whenever they are needed)
  3. Seiso, Clean (Keep things clean and polished; no trash or dirt in the workplace)
  4. Seiketsu‚ Purity (Maintain cleanliness after cleaning‚ perpetual cleaning)
  5. Shitsuke‚ Commitment (A typical teaching and attitude toward any undertaking to inspire pride and adherence to standards)

When your organization wants *also* to focus on safety, like — for example — in warehouse or worksite operations — a sixth S is added to the system.

An alternative translation and meaning of these terms may be found in The Improvement Book by Tomo Sugiyama:

  1. Sorting‚ Good and bad, useable and non-useable
  2. Systematic arrangement‚ Once sorted, keep systematically to have traceability
  3. Spic and span‚ Keep arranged things always ready-to-use, dirt-free and tidy
  4. Standardize‚ Make a process for the above three stages, create measures and review them
  5. Self-discipline‚ Individual commitment
  6. Safety, Where workers feel safe and secure
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