Published 29 Nov 2022
What is 5S Audit?
The 5S audit is the methodical approach to identifying improvement opportunities in the workplace. It generally observes the proper implementation of 5S in the work area which stands for the 5 steps of this methodology—Seiri (Sort), Seiton (Systematize), Seiso (Shining), Seiketsu (Standardizing), and Shitsuke (Sustaining). Conducting 5S audits can help ensure that the workplace consistently follows a proper procedure and becomes more efficient.
This 5S Audit Checklist is a tool used by area supervisors or plant managers to perform monthly or quarterly audits. As a 5S audit form, this checklist can help ensure that 5S principles and set standards are being followed and implemented by workers. This audit checklist contains the five "S" steps which are:
- Sort (Seiri) - include only the required equipment
- Set in order (Seiton) - equipment is labelled so it is easy to identify
- Shine (Seiso) - work areas are kept clean and free from obstructions
- Standardize (Seiketsu) - everything is stored neatly and consistently
- Sustain (Shitsuke) - internal audits have been recently conducted and improvements made
In this article
- What is a 5S Audit Checklist?
- 3 Simple Steps to Implement 5S in Your Workspace
- Increase your team’s efficiency through 5s training
- FAQs about 5s Audit
- Boost 5S Performance by using 5S Audit Checklists
- Featured 5S Audit Checklists
What is a 5S Audit Checklist?
A 5S audit checklist is a tool used by evaluators when conducting periodic 5S audits in the workplace. As a guide designed according to the specific needs of an organization, a 5S checklist can help reinforce conformance with 5S principles and aid an organization in gaining the 5S principles’ major long-term benefits:
- Safety & security
- Waste elimination
- Increased efficiency
- Low implementation cost for high-impact performance
- Development of a collaborative mindset among co-workers
3 Simple Steps to Implement 5S in Your Workspace
According to the Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME), 5S is a thought process designed to resolve a type of problem that occurs throughout a business. The global organization for enterprise performance improvement challenges companies to apply the 5s tool accordingly. Here is how you can generally implement it in 3 simple steps:
Step #1: Make a Plan
Work through each step of the 5S principles and make a habit of doing the following during planning:
- Visualize the work area
- Look for waste
- Look for the root cause of every problem
- Develop standards
- Repeat the process
Step #2: Bring Action
Implement 5S in your organization by assigning a trained employee or a team of workers to do the following on a weekly basis:
- Take a photo of your workplace’s current status
- Sort items needed and to be disposed of. Determine the item’s frequency of use (daily, monthly, or never) and if it’s still essential or defective and outdated.
- Organize and group items according to use and function. You may also add labels and apply a color coding scheme for easy sorting.
- Clean the workspace. Remove items that cause dirt, contamination, and filth.
- Conduct an audit to review items you weren’t able to deal with that day, including items you found difficult to classify or tag for disposal. Establish an action plan (e.g., selling, donating, recycling or throwing away items) for items that need to be disposed of.
- For review purposes, take a photo of the workspace after implementing changes.
Step #3: Monitor
As one of the core principles of Kaizen, area supervisors or plant managers should do a monthly and quarterly audit to ensure that 5S standards are being met. Regular audits also help keep track of items and equipment so you can determine whether they are in need of repairs or if something is missing.
Increase your team’s efficiency through 5s training
It takes an excellent 5S training program to ensure that a workforce is contributing responsibly to a lean business operation without risking their health and safety. While often ignored, this training is highly valuable to almost any industry. By adopting the 5s practices, which strive for the elimination of workplace chaos and unproductivity, businesses will benefit from greater cost savings with higher performance quality from employees. Moreover, an organized work environment also contributes to increased safety and improved employee morale. Implementing the 5s system may appear small and trivial at first, but these small changes, when repeated over time, will eventually lead to bigger results, and that will greatly benefit a company’s bottom line. This system can also be used with other methods and systems, such as the 5W1H method.
We’ve scoured the internet and compiled a list of the most recommended 5S training courses that can help master the ins and outs of this lean system. These courses cover topics like the history of the 5s system, its five pillars, the importance of its implementation, and how it can be applied at work.
FAQs about 5s Audit
To conduct a 5s audit, the following steps should be taken:
- Take or attach a photo of the workplace’s current status for reference.
- Do a visual inspection of your workplace.
- Go through the questionnaire per category (sort, set-in-order, shine, standardize, and sustain) and assign a score.
- Tally the scores to see how well the workplace complies with the principles of 5s.
- Create a conclusion and establish an action plan if needed.
Each item per category is scored from zero to five, with zero meaning it deviates from the principle and 5 as flawless and with no deviation. Once the 5s audit is complete, the scores are tallied per category and are divided by the number of standards its being evaluated to.
For example: Under the category of sort, it scored a total of 15 points and there were 5 standards or questions. The average score would be 3 for that category.
A best practice would be to conduct a 5s audit on a monthly to quarterly basis. Performing regular audits can help the organization monitor its progress towards implementing the principles of 5s.
Red tags are used during the Sort process of implementing 5s in workplaces. The following steps are involved in applying this procedure:
- Identify items that are unnecessary, not immediately needed, or are totally misplaced.
- Fill the red tags—ensure legible writing and be as detailed as possible with its content.
- Register the red tag in the 5s red tag log for easy identification, classification, and location.
- Transfer red-tagged items to the red tag area but ensure that they are still accessible when needed.
- Determine the appropriate amount of time to keep tagged items in the red tag area—after, decide whether those items should be permanently removed from the workspace or if they need to stay.
Boost 5S Performance by using 5S Audit Checklists
Empower your teams to improve safety and quality in the workplace with an intuitive mobile app solution. Download the SafetyCulture 5S audit app for free today and get access to unlimited 5S audit checklists and forms.
Featured 5S Audit Checklists
A General 5S Housekeeping Checklist is used to organize workspaces and enable employees to perform their work efficiently, effectively, and safely. Use this checklist and begin your 5S inspection by following the 5S audit procedure which consists of the five key elements known as Seiri (Sort), Seiton (Set in order), Seiso (Shine), Seiketsu (Standardize), and Shitsuke (Sustain):
- Describe the nature of work and capture a photo of the workspace
- Assess each principle (sort & set-in-order, shine, standardize, and sustain)
- Take and attach photos of red-tagged items
- Add notes or comments on compliant or non-compliant items
- Assign corrective actions to team members, provide a description, and set priority and due date.
- Sign off with a digital signature from the assigned employee
Use this 5S audit checklist for manufacturing companies to help your business improve productivity through workplace cleanliness and efficiency. This 5S manufacturing checklist can help identify the unnecessary items stored in the manufacturing site and ensure machines, equipment, and tools are kept clean and in working order. Use SafetyCulture to generate onsite reports that capture photo(s) evidence of broken, unusable, or occasionally used items.
Conduct 5S audits in warehouses using this 5S Warehouse Checklist that aims to increase the value of products for customers by eliminating waste from warehouse operations. Use this 5S checklist as a guide to:
- Check if floors, loading docks, and storage areas are free from obstructions or blockages.
- Assess if forklifts, materials, equipment, and containers are stored in their proper places.
- Standardize various rules, regulations, and best practices in the work area.
- Emphasize the importance of doing the 5s audits regularly.
Use SafetyCulture to assign corrective action to the right employee and address areas for improvement.
Use this 5S in the Workplace Checklist converted using SafetyCulture to identify the items that need to be removed from the workplace. This inspection form will help you note obsolete, broken or unnecessary workbenches, shelves, chairs, lockers, and other items that are not required for projects. This 5s check sheet helps ensure the allocation of time and resources for all employees to participate in 5S activities.
Inspect the cleanliness, order, and structure of your facilities by using this 5S Office Checklist. This checklist will help ensure that the cabinets, shelves, and files have labels to allow immediate identification. Identify if displays are tidy, free of clutter, and up-to-date. Use SafetyCulture to add comments and recommendations on how to maintain a clean and organized office.
Safety is the additional S to the existing 5S program. 6S Lean focuses on what can be done to eliminate risks in work processes. Use the 6S Lean Safety Checklist to identify hazards or potential risks while performing tasks in the workplace. Use SafetyCulture to conduct better 6S inspections to provide risk rating and hazard control measures to be implemented. Take a photo of steps or activity conducted and generate reports onsite. Learn more about the 6S method here.