Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Why clean floors are so important

Why clean floors are so important


I was with my colleague Mike a few minutes ago in our boiler room.  Mike is in charge of our physical plant and takes his job seriously and responsibly.  We were looking at a piece of equipment discussing its on-going maintenance, when Mike suddenly blurted out "What is that?"


He had spotted a small bolt and nut on the floor.  We immediately began looking above that spot on the floor to see where it came from.  In fairly short order, we found a hose clamp that was bolt-less.  We reinstalled the bolt and started looking at other nearby hose clamps.  We found three more clamps on which the bolts were loose.  We tightened them all. 


And it all happened because Mike kept the floor clean of dirt and debris.  Yes, in a boiler room...the floor was clean. 


On a clean floor, any abnormality is easy to see.  Had the floor been cluttered, we would never have seen the single bolt and nut.  Would have never looked at the other hose clamps.  And who knows what might have happened on this key piece of equipment had hoses gradually worked loose. 


We've talked in this space about using 5S as a workplace organization tool.  And this is one more example of why it works.


I hope this is helpful...and you can clean up a mess somewhere today.



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