Making Safety a Top Priority for the entire Operation

In this unique post, Plant Lean Manager Todd Markward from Select Comfort(producer of Sleep Number and Comfortaire beds),shares how his team made a couple of simple improvements to their worth stream mapping process that shifted the whole operation’s focus to safety as a leading concern.

I’ve functioned as a Lean/Operational Quality Supervisor for several years with responsibility for single and multi-site operations. A common practice is to create value stream maps(VSM)for each site that assist us prioritize and handle the company. With time I observed that they were missing safety as a key element of “waste” and Key Efficiency Indication (KPI) in our service. We had actually stopped working to resolve this waste stream in our VSM information, specifically in emergency treatment cases and lost work days.

The lean principle of respect for people implies that safety needs to constantly be our very first issue. We aim to maintain this concept with an environment that secures our staff members. Whenever a safety incident happens, that line stops – so product flow and pull procedures stop as well.

This principle wasn’t precisely determined on our VSMs. The VSMs did not include security wastes such as downtime for security events, follow-up investigations, changes, documentation updates, and employee modification management training. We would identify security kaizen opportunities on our VSMs, however neither our data blocks nor other visuals on the VSMs highlighted the safety waste stream, event locations, or acknowledged improvements. I chose to start explore methods to efficiently record and display safety metrics on the VSMs. I teamed up with our various departments to collect information, generating our very first plant-wide VSM. I wanted to reveal what was occurring in security on our current state map and have our future state map show the security improvement plans along with inventory, circulation and cycle time plans.

I accomplished this by including the combined number of emergency treatment and lost work days in each process information obstruct on the VSM. I then included blocks under the timeline ladder to the overall variety of occurrences in each procedure column, and the overall the variety of events on the ideal side of the ladder as we made with preparation and procedure time (see picture listed below).

These basic additions would spread the security focus from exclusively on the operator to the whole operation. We could now picture it as our number one KPI.

We are now starting our 2nd year of worth stream mapping with these improvements and they are working as prepared. While we are fortunate to have a low variety of security events at our place, we are enjoying proactive take advantage of this impactful modification. Security is now at the forefront of our conversations. All employee are quickly able to see the existing state of safety and our ongoing commitment to be a safe operation.

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