The 5S System is a fundamental lean manufacturing tool, designed to enhance workplace efficiency and eliminate waste through a structured five-step approach. The first step, "Sort," involves separating necessary tools from unnecessary items to minimize the risk of cross-contamination. "Set In Order" emphasizes organizing tools within reach to reduce downtime, employing color coding and shadow boards for systematic arrangement. "Shine" promotes cleanliness to ensure safety, detect potential issues, and maintain a productive environment. "Standardize" focuses on creating practices, such as Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and shadow boards, to sustain the improvements made. Finally, "Sustain" emphasizes consistency through regular checks to uphold the established standards. To complement the 5S System, incorporating visual aids such as signs, labels, safety tapes, floor markings, and custom shadow boards provides an effective means of communication and reinforces the success of the 5S methodology throughout the facility. These visual tools contribute to increased awareness, efficiency, and safety, ensuring a well-maintained and organized workplace.


#1 - SORT

Separate tools that are needed to get the job done and remove everything else. Sorting can
help minimize chances of cross-contamination and cross-contact by sorting food-contact and
non-food-contact items apart from each other.

Set In OrderSet In Order


Place all relevant tools within reach of operatives and reduce the need to be away from the
workstation. Color-coding can be introduced to keep food-contact and non-food-contact
items in separate zones and to keep allergens apart where needed. Shadow boards can be
used to give every tool a place.


#3 - SHINE

Maintain safety and order in the workplace by keeping tools, machinery and the work area
clean. Routine cleaning within your facility can help spot leaks, cracks, or misalignments,
which can reduce the risk of equipment failure, safety hazards, and loss of productivity.



Create practices that will ensure maintenance of the steps you have already taken by
introducing Shadow Boards and writing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
The process should have a natural flow and help be more efficient.



Stay consistent and constantly review standards with daily, periodic, and change-only checks.

Adding Visual Aides

Incorporating signs, labels, safety tapes, floor markings, and shadow boards are an effective way to visually communicate throughout a facility and maintain a successful 5S system.

Signs & Labels

Helps increase awareness and communication.
Click here to customize your safety sign.

Safety Tapes

Identify specific areas or items.

Floor Markings

Ideal for marking aisles, hazard boundaries,
and color-coded areas.

Shadow Boards

Improves safety and speeds up processes by extending
the life of the equipment and eliminating missing tools.

Signs, labels, safety tapes, floor markings, and shadow boards item examplesSigns, labels, safety tapes, floor markings, and shadow boards item examples

Custom Shadow Boards

Organize your tools, supplies, equipment, and materials while providing a striking, graphical visual point-of-storage for tools. Can be designed to any size and style you require—use any color, including logos, messages, symbols, or even full-color images!


Custom Shadow BoardCustom Shadow Board

5S Partners Logos5S Partners Logos

Need help implementing a 5S System?

Contact our Product Specialists at [email protected], call 800-826-8302, or take our specialized survey!

Looking For Color-Coded Products?

Our 68-page  Color-Coded Catalog  includes a diverse and extensive collection of color-coded products—laying the foundation for a solid food safety program! 

Features the following products to help minimize the risk of cross-contamination:

• Material Handling• Apparel
• Product Handling• QA/QC
• Janitorial• Brushes
• Safety• Metal Detectable


• View/Download the Color-Coded Catalog
• Request Printed Color-Coded Catalog

Color Coded Catalog CoverColor Coded Catalog Cover