How to Use the 5S Audit Checklist
At its core, the 5S framework is made up of 5 steps for maintaining an efficient industrial workspace to encourage safety, worker pride and quality production. Created and popularized by Toyota in WWII, good housekeeping skills are enforced with standards and regular audits to facilitate better operations and, in turn, better products.
The scorecard should be adapted to your facility and 5S practice. An audit is a visual inspection of your facilities, scored against the 5S matrix, to see how well you're implementing Continuous Improvement. Preparing for and discussing the results of an audit is a great team-building opportunity and should include an open dialogue on ways to improve safety, waste, efficiency, and collaboration.
During their walkthrough, the auditor will assess:
- Which issues have been resolved
- If 5S principles are being applied consistently
- What remains to be standardized
The recommended audit cadence is a weekly self-check by teams assessing their work area, a monthly audit performed by the supervisor, and a quarterly audit conducted by the plant manager.
The average baseline for scoring is a ⅗ or 60%, which is considered the minimum acceptable score, while multiple quality back-to-back audits should score at 80% or higher.
In the end, the most significant benefit of workers performing 5S is that it facilitates their empowerment – they get to make the decisions – and engenders a stronger sense of ownership of the area, workstation or department. This provides the engagement necessary to support further lean steps.