5S Principles

1SortSort through items and put in groups, needed and not needed. Get rid of unneeded items.
2StraightenOrganize the work area – A place for everything and everything in its place.
3ShineDo regular cleaning to your work area.
4StandardizeUse pit inspection list twice a day for the pit area.
5SustainMake 5S a way of life. Assure that all team members know the importance of 5S for the success of the team.
Applying the 5S Principles to any team can dramatically increase safety in pits everywhere. The 5S’s are a standard which is commonly used throughout industries to keep work spaces safe and efficient. With pits having a space constraint of 10 square feet it is important to apply the 5S’s to maximize space, become more efficient, and altogether become a safer team.


  • Ways to Sort:
    1. Decide is needed and not needed
    2. Needed things include but are not limited to:
      1. Tools
      2. Spare parts
      3. Robot
      4. First Aid kit
      5. Fire extinguisher
    3. Not needed things include but are not limited to:
      1. Jackets
      2. Food and drinks
      3. Personal items
      4. Trash
  • Ways to Straighten:
    1. Organize
    2. Have a place for everything and keep everything in its place
    3. Label bins and drawers.
    4. Tape off sections on the floor
      1. This keeps everything out of the way and in its own place
  • Ways to Shine:
    1. Sweep up the floor
    2. Clean off surface with a hand broom or vacuum
    3. Keep things looking straight and neat
  • Ways to Standardize
    1. Routinely clean up
    2. Make a pit inspection form
    3. An example can be found in the FIRST Safety manual
  • Ways to Sustain:
    1. Make sure the 5S’s are understood and followed by everyone on the team
      1. Give safety demos
      2. Teach members about pit inspection forms and encourage everyone to do it once
    2. Develop a succession plan
      1. Start training next safety captain a year before the current one leaves
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