Saturday, July 24, 2004

Safety T Shirt

Best Ever Safety T-Shirt, originally uploaded by joeelylean.

Safety--be clear about it

On a beautiful Saturday morning, my walk took me past a parking lot under construction, where I saw the coolest T Shirt I'd seen in a while. I hustled home, got my camera, and Eric gave me permission to snap this photo.

Why did this simple T shirt grab me? Because of the clarity of it's message. If it isn't safe, don't do it. This is central to any safety program.

It also is a wonderful illustration of one of the pillars of Lean; jidoka or autonomation. In short, autonomation is all about the rapid detection and immediate correction of errors. Before they move on to the next step in the process. Mark Rosenthal, now of Eastman Kodak, wrote well on this and lists the four steps of autonomation:

  1. Detect the error.
  2. Stop.
  3. Correct the immediate problem.
  4. Install a countermeasure.
Do you see how this T shirt captures autonomation? Especially the first two steps? By seeing that something is unsafe, one detects the error. By determining to "not do it", one stops. At that point, there is still no accident. And the team can determine then what to do. But without a) detection and b) empowerment to Stop, accidents will keep happening.

Kudos to Milestone Construction of Indianapolis for having a strong safety policy and producing these T shirts. Hard-hats off to Eric, who wore the shirt with pride (and yes, I did have my hard hat on when I walked onto the site).

Words mean something...and these words save lives.


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