• Complying With 5S Requirements With The Use Of The Right Colors


    5S is a workplace organization method that traces its roots to the Japanese and is designed to improve both efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace through the implementation of five important tenets: sorting, setting in order, systematic cleaning, standardizing and sustaining.

    There are various ways to achieve each of these. As for setting in order, one of the ways businesses achieve that is through the use of floor marking, particularly in the organization of work facilities. In simple terms, this means using floor markers to set order and establish patterns which eliminates time lost for searching equipment and materials as well as confusion.

    In fulfilling their 5S requirements, many business organizations look to several standards due to the absence of government-mandated standards in terms of the colors to be utilized for such purposes. Many industries also do not have a set palette of colors for such purposes. In most cases, businesses often refer to the ANSI Z535 Safety Color Code and the OSHA Standard CFR 1910. In broad terms, these standards merely function as a guide and, ultimately, it is entirely up to the companies to choose the colors to use in their facilities.

    Another alternative to these standards is the 5S Floor Marking scheme which is compliant with the OSHA standard. The overall goal of the 5S color scheme is to limit the colors to be used to prevent confusion and facilitate recognition and recall among workers. Here's how the colors are used.

    Yellow is used for areas designated for traffic and aisles. White designates areas for the storage of equipment and fixtures. Blue, green and black are used for areas where raw materials are placed. Orange designates areas where equipment or products are to be inspected while red is assigned for areas where defective products should be placed. When red is used in conjunction with the color white, it means that the area is meant to be kept clear to conform with safety standards. On the other hand, areas which use black and white are places which need to be kept clear for operational purposes. Black and yellow are used to inform workers that an area has health and safety hazards.

    And when it comes to the application of these markers, it boils down to two choices: floor marking tapes and paint. The latter has dwindled in popularity because of the hassles involved in preparation and the actual application, while the former is easier to apply and more resistant to the elements and foot and vehicle traffic.


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