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Fight the Chaos: With the 5S Method for Increased Work Safety

Disruption in operations not only cost time and money - but they can also cause significant safety risks.

The 5S Method, which is a system that originates from Japan, can be used to increase operational safety. Here we show you how to fight the chaos in 5 easy steps.

Disorder in the workplace? These are the consequences!

High search times – even in an emergency

If work equipment, tools or materials are not stored clearly enough, the search for the right object becomes a constant timekeeper. The workflow is interrupted and the employee is busy with unproductive things for the duration of the search. After all, looking for a waste of resources not only costs time, but also money. In emergencies, search times can have more serious consequences.

Increased accident risk

Did you know that objects left lying around is one of the most common causes of injury in everyday operations? Not only do they cause an obstruction for employees to trip over, they can also block escape and rescue routes. If sharp objects such as nails are left lying around, any mistake becomes a painful experience for the employee. Containers of liquids may be knocked over and if hazardous chemicals are spilled, significant health and environmental risks arise.

"Invisible" leaks and company cleanliness

Company cleanliness is an essential contribution to occupational safety. Dirt is easy to overlook amongst a busy production environment, which can cause leaks to go unnoticed. Leaking oil, for example, is not as noticeable on a dirty machine as it is on a clean one. In a worst case scenario, employees can fall ill as a result of working environments not being regularly cleaned. To guarantee that leaks are not overlooked, you can install a SpillGuard® - the innovative new hazardous substance warning system invented by DENIOS. This revolutionary system quickly detects leaks, which trigger a loud alarm and LED light system to instantly draw attention to the leak. You can use a SpillGuard® alongside an ultra absorbent DENSORB® hazardous substance binding fleece. Simply place the DENSORB® under a machine where visibility is limited, and the advanced absorbents will capture any escaping hazardous substances.

How the 5S method helps make your business safer

The 5S methodology is a systematic approach that can be used to maintain order and cleanliness in the factory. The result is the 5S method at Toyota in Japan. The eponymous 5S stands for the initial letters of the five steps that are taken in the application. In the original, these are the Japanese terms:

  • Seiri - Sort
  • Seiton - Systemise
  • Seiso - Shine
  • Seiktsu - Standardise
  • Shitsuke - Sustain

Accidents are often caused by untidy work areas. The 5S method can significantly help minimise the risks of accidents at work in your workplace.


Practical tip:
Incorporate your employees into the process right from the start. For one thing, they are still familiar with their workplaces and can provide important pointers to common problems and new measures - this is especially important when it comes to the future continuous application and discipline.

5S method steps


Sort, Systemise, Shine, Standardise, and Sustain - these 5 steps are needed to successfully apply the 5S method. Below we present you the individual measures as well as suitable product recommendations.

1. Sort

Over time, a lot of things often accumulate at the workplace - including many items that are no longer needed or only rarely needed. In addition, there are usually some broken or unusable tools. This unnecessary ballast makes the workplace unclear and hampers work processes. The first step is therefore to get rid of these superfluous objects and only store what is really needed at the workplace.

  • What is needed for daily work and what is used less often?

  • Are there any objects in the workplace that were not needed at all?

  • Can duplicate items be sorted out?

  • Are there any useless or broken objects that can be recycled or disposed of?


Practical Tip: Waste such as empty containers, packaging that is no longer needed or documents for which the storage period has long expired is often stored temporarily at the workplace. Instead, provide suitable collection containers at a central location.

Tipping Skips

For storing and transporting different hazardous materials.

See Products

Stacking Containers

For the collection of waste or as a space saving storage option.

See Products

Grid Boxes

For the storage and collection of different goods such as containers or small bins.

See Products

2. Systemise

After sorting, there should only be objects in the workplace that are required for the respective activity. These are now assigned a fixed place. The following applies: What is frequently needed should also be readily available. Tools, materials or resources that are used less frequently are stored in such a way that they are not in the way when needed, within reach and during regular procedures.

  • Items are stored in fixed locations with appropriate labels or markings

  • The storage areas are selected according to their frequency of use.

  • Note the order in which materials are used.

  • Ergonomics aspects should also be taken into account during placement


Practical Tip: A wide variety of products make it easier for you to store tools, materials or operating resources in a sorted manner. From files in the office to screws and nails in the workshop - our material cabinets are optimised with different equipment variants for different purposes. Locks integrated as standard prevent theft and unauthorised access. Shelves enable space-saving storage with optimum accessibility. Thanks to their flexible plug-in design, they can be variably extended and divided. This is particularly useful if a bearing is frequently rebuilt or the storage requirement is constantly changing. Open fronted storage bins also help to maintain an overview and keep small parts within easy reach.

To ensure that first aid equipment or suitable absorbents can be found quickly, you should make your emergency supplies available at known fixed locations. You will also find suitable products for this in the DENIOS online shop.

Material cabinets

Various equipment and models for safe storage.

See Products


Flexibly expandable storage space for production accessories and much more.

See Products

Open fronted storage and shelving bins

For clear and structured storage of small parts.

See Products

Multi purpose containers

For a wide range of applications in production and operation.

See Products


For optimum protection of valueables and documents.

See Products

Key boxes

For safe and clear storage of keys.

See Products

DENSORB® Emergency Sets

In a mobile caddy, portable suitcase or in a spacious cupboard.

See Products

First Aid Equipment

Your emergency equipment in practical dispensers, cases and cabinets.

See Products

3. Shine

Regular cleaning of the workplace should not only be carried out for hygiene reasons. In practice, maintenance cycles can also be integrated into this work step. This means that work equipment and machines can be checked for defects during cleaning. This not only provides you with a clean and pleasant working environment - it also reduces the risk of accidents at work and technical faults.

  • Define fixed cycles for cleaning work areas

  • Identify and eliminate causes of pollution

  • The functionality of work equipment can be checked during cleaning at the same time.


Practical Tip: Economical use of materials during cleaning protects the environment and your wallet. FALCON's spray and attachment cans allow particularly precise dosing of cleaning agents. For example, the removal from a netting can is particularly economical, since residual liquids flow directly back from the impregnating plate into the container. Also use special industrial cleaning cloths. These can be washed out and reused after use.

FALCON Spray Cans

For the economical use of cleaning agents.

See Products

Cleaning Cloths

For cleaning work in all industrial areas.

See Products

Cleaning Equipment

Equipment for the cleaning trolley.

See Products

4. Standardise

As soon as a sample work area has been set up and organised, you transfer the developed order scheme to all similar work areas and production lines. Not only are all workplaces optimally organised, standardisation also makes it easier to change workplaces within the company and to train new employees.

  • The developed order scheme is transferred to similar work areas.

  • Define and record standards for workplace organization, cleaning cycles, and related responsibilities


Practical Tip: The workplace organisation should be understandable, comprehensible and present for all employees. As an aid to orientation, you can record the principles of order, cleaning cycles and responsibilities in documentation. With wall brackets, clear view panels and information boards, you can then display these at the designated places.

Boards and organisational systems

To display your new order rules in the company.

See Products

5. Sustain

The workplace is now optimally organised - now all you have to do is make sure it stays that way. To prevent things from looking as chaotic as they did before in a few weeks' time, the new rules must become a habit. This is often easier said than done. For order to function permanently in the company, everyone has to follow suit. They should therefore not regard the 5S method as a one-off project, but let it become a permanent routine.

  • Integrate your new rules and principles of order into the operating instructions

  • Conduct regular training sessions

  • Even small rewards for adhering to the order routine can be helpful.

Especially important: superiors should actively exemplify the new culture of order!

We are happy to advise you!

Whether on the phone, via e-mail or in person at your premises - we are happy to help and advise you. Get in touch with us.

Free expert advice +44 1952 811 991

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The specialist information on this page has been compiled carefully and to the best of our knowledge and belief. Nevertheless, DENIOS AG cannot assume any warranty or liability of any kind, whether in contract, tort or otherwise, for the topicality, completeness and correctness either towards the reader or towards third parties. The use of the information and content for your own or third party purposes is therefore at your own risk. In any case, please observe the locally and currently applicable legislation.

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