This is the final article in a series of three articles focusing on 5S methods.

In this third of three pieces on the 5S program (you can learn more about 5S and associated products by clicking here or here.

5S is a method developed to create standardized, efficient, clean, and safe working environments. A common way of implementing 5S methods in facility is through the use of color-coding. An effective color-coding system in a kitchen, factory, processing facility, hospital, etc. does a lot to help meet the “standardizing," and "sustaining" components of the 5S method.

With no absolute standard set for color-coding, each business can tailor-make their system to meet their own needs. A multiplicity of colors can be used in one area.   In an industrial kitchen, a specific color like white can be used to label all materials okay to use with dairy products, versus a red color scheme to indicate tools and materials that are okay to use with raw meat. Such divisions prevent cross-contamination, and the spread of dangerous bacteria and illnesses. Products from cutting boards to maintenance equipment come in an array of colors to meet the needs of operations using multiple standards in one place.

Another common method of utilizing color-coded products to help standardize the workplace and sustain 5S demands is to create specific “zones.” The need to standardize certain areas of a specific operation is often the reality for many businesses. Respective zones in an operation are assigned a specific color. Multiple tools and supplies will be coded in this one color, eliminating or reducing confusion, cross-contamination, and loss. If zone paths are ever to cross, such as a maintenance department working on a project within a packaging department, zone color indicators will keep tools and other materials clearly delineated for employees. Such user-friendly indicators as color-coding on materials and tools ensures that after standardizing your operation, you will be able to sustain the 5S methods for years to come.

Click here to check out Nelson-Jameson’s line of color-coded products and for more information on how to make the most of color-coding in 5S.