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5S Housekeeping

When looking to improve efficiency in your workplace it’s often easy to focus on areas such as storage, colour coding or workplace layout that seem as though they will bring about the largest gains. However, formalising procedures for basic elements like cleaning will have a huge impact on productivity and vastly improve the success rate of other newly implemented changes.

Keeping work areas clean, tidy and well-maintained is one of the fundamental principles of 5S working. Seton can provide a large selection of easy to use cleaning products including floor stands and signs that are ideal in a visual work environment. Learn more about 5S cleaning and how to incorporate it into your daily routine in our helpful housekeeping equipment guide.

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5S Methodology and Cleaning


When looking to implement workplace efficiency measures, many opt to create a visual environment that is easy to understand and simple to follow. 5S methodology is a globally recognised set of principles that provide a guide for how this can be achieved and includes factors such as visual storage and warehouse navigation. Cleaning, tidying and other housekeeping duties are covered by “Shine”, one of the main tenets of 5S working.

As well as increasing efficiency, “Shine” states that keeping your site clean and tidy will:
  • Prevent deterioration in buildings, machinery and other equipment

  • Reduce downtime needed for maintenance and repairs

  • Create a safe environment that minimises accidents

  • Improve motivation and promote a sense of ownership over one’s environment

  • Limit stress and distractions, allowing work tasks to be the primary focus


  • As part of creating a visual location, anyone who enters your site should be able to detect a problem from within 50 feet of it. A clean and tidy workplace will allow this to happen.

    Incorporating 5S Housekeeping into Your Work Activities



    To maximise workplace efficiency it’s important that cleaning is incorporated carefully into your routine. A haphazard schedule and regime will only slow operations down and likely cause more confusion.

    When planning how to clean, the following steps should be taken:
  • Set a frequency for housekeeping by highlighting areas requiring daily, weekly or monthly attention

  • Involve workers so they strive to maintain a smart, tidy environment and feel responsible for their own localities

  • Schedule time for cleaning and incorporate it into normal working routines

  • Provide waste streaming equipment so that discarded items can be disposed of appropriately


  • Cleaning can be used as a way of inspecting your facilities and equipment. This will save time by combining two very important tasks together as one.

    5S Cleaning Equipment



    Having equipment stored in an orderly fashion at a convenient location is one of the basic principles of workplace efficiency. To this end, it is important to keep cleaning apparatus near areas where work is carried out. On larger sites this might involve creating several cleaning stations that hold regularly used items.

    Keeping a good supply of cleaning consumables such as floor cleaner or multi-purpose spray onsite will ensure housekeeping can be carried out whenever necessary. Clothes, wipes and dusters should also be readily available.

    5S seeks to streamline work by creating a visual environment. There are several ways cleaning equipment can contribute to this. Colour coded items such as buckets, brooms and shadow boards will prevent cross-contamination, but perhaps more importantly give an instantly recognisable clue as to their specific purpose and indicate where they should be kept. Shadow boards can be supplied filled or empty and will reinforce this message. When placed strategically around your site, staff will always know where equipment is situated and be reminded to return it once used.

    Displaying clear, easy to understand signage is essential. Using wet floor and cleaning in progress signs whenever cleaning is taking place will warn workers to be extra vigilant and staff should be reminded to use it at all times.

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