Lean Safety: Transforming your Safety Culture with Lean Management, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Lean Safety

Transforming your Safety Culture with Lean Management, 1st Edition

By Robert Hafey

Productivity Press

186 pages | 30 B/W Illus.

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While worker safety is often touted as a company’s first priority, more often than not, safety activity is driven by compliance to legislation rather than any safety improvement initiative. Lean takes a proactive approach – it is not contingent on legislation. A serious Lean effort will tear apart an old inefficient entitlement-riddled culture and build it into something effective.

Lean Safety: Transforming your Safety Culture with Lean Management takes lessons learned from Lean and applies them to the building of a world-class safety-first organization. Based on 30 years of experience with successful implementation of continuous improvement, Robert Hafey focuses the power of Lean improvement on the universal topic of safety. In doing so, he shows how Lean and safety are linked; that the achievement of one is often dependent upon achievement of the other. In this book, written for managers and executives as well as workers on the line, Hafey:

  • Challenges each stakeholder to think proactively and accept individual responsibility for safety
  • Emphasizes that the building of a top safety program requires the building of a world-class safety culture
  • Demonstrates how basic Lean tools are as applicable to safety as they are to Lean, such as the A3 problem-solving process and the facilitated kaizen blitz
  • Removes fear from the accident investigation process so that root causes are addressed rather than hidden
  • Establishes standards and metrics for safety management that are clearly definable and measurable

Any lasting improvement must become both institutionalized and perpetually capable of adaptation. World class safety is not about writing correct rules, but more about righting the culture responsible for the well-being of its stakeholders.

Listen to what Robert Hafey has to say about Lean Safety.


If the strength of your company is dependent on developing an exceptional workforce, then start where it matters most – providing the tools for a safe, efficient and involved employee group. This book can be the roadmap to get you there.

—Jerry Paulson, retired president and CEO, Flexco

This much-needed book provides real practical examples of how safety and Lean teams working on their own improvement journeys can come together and drive easier, cleaner, and safer work environments and practices for the employees of any business.

—Dan McDonnell, Lean Initiative Manager, General Electric Transportation

Table of Contents


Message for Leaders

Message for Lean Thinkers

Message for Hourly Safety Team Members

Brief Overview of Chapters

Why Focus on Safety?

Demonstrate That Safety Really Is First

Quick Guide: Lean Focused Approach to Safety Management


Change the Culture

A Common Goal of Both Lean Philosophy and Safety Programs

Quick Guide: Change the Culture

Leadership’s Role

Focus Everyone on the Process

Quick Guide: Leadership’s Role

Lean Tools for Safety

You Can Continuously Cope or You Can Continuously Improve—The Choice Is Yours

Lean Tool 5S: A Structured Method of Workplace Organization


Set in Order




Disciplined Approach Necessary to Maintain Safety in the Workplace

Lean Tool: Visual Factory



Signaling Systems

Process Mapping

Lean Tool: Training

Lean Tool: Poka-Yoke (Failsafe)

Lean Tool: Benchmarking

Lean Tool: Continuous Flow/Cycle Time Gains

Lean Tool: Standard Work

Lean Tool: Problem Solving

Lean Tool: Metrics

Lean Tool: Teams

Quick Guide: Lean Tools for Safety


Advanced Lean Tools for Safety

Facilitated Leadership: Changing How People Think

Lean Tool: A3 Problem Solving

Step 1: State the Agreed Upon Problem or Need

Step 2: Draw the Current State Map or State the Current Condition

Step 3: Problem Solving—Use Ask "Why" Five Times Technique to Get to Root Causes

Step 4: The Future State—Draw a Map or Describe HowYou Would Like It to Be

Step 5: Implementation Plan

Step 6: Audit Expected Results Against Actual Results

Lean Tool: Kaizen Blitz

Planning the Kaizen Event

Facilitating the Kaizen Blitz

Kaizen Team Presentation

Kaizen Event Follow-Up Meeting

Quick Guide: Advanced Lean Tools for Safety


Safety Program Leadership

It Doesn’t Have to Be a Manager

Team Leader

Management Facilitator

Accident Investigation Facilitator

Recorder Keeper

Subteam Leaders

Human Resources (HR) Facilitator

Safety Walk Co-Coordinator

OSHA Knowledge Expert

Training Coordinator

Quick Guide: Safety Program Leadership


Incident/Accident Investigation

Getting to Root Causes and Lasting Solutions

Focus on Process, not People

Getting to Root Cause and Corrective Actions

Quick Guide: Lean Approach to Incident and Accident Investigations

Promoting Safety

Engaging Employees to Build Safety Awareness

Flash Meetings

Benchmarking (A Standard against Which Something Can Be

Measured or Assessed)

Safety Improvement Programs

Safety Observation Program

Job Safety Analysis

Safety Kaizen Blitz Events

Quick Guide: Lean Approach to Internal Safety Promotion

Roadmap to World-Class Safety

Pulling the Pieces Together to Build or Rebuild a Safety Program

Safety Program Leadership

Lean Approach to Safety Program Leadership

Safety Team

Lean Approach to a Safety Team

Other Team Building Opportunities


Lean Approach to Recordkeeping

Safety Program Outline Documents

Safety Education

Lean Approach to Safety Education

Safety Program Activity Management

Lean Approach to Safety Program Activity Management

Safety Rule Definition.

Lean Approach to Safety Rule Definition

Safety Communications

Lean-Influenced Safety Communications

Quick Guide: Roadmap to World-Class Safety

Safety Standard Work

Foundation of Continuous Improvement

Quick Guide: Standard Work for Managers


Safety Metrics

What You Measure Makes a Difference

Lean Approach to Safety Metrics

Quick Guide: Metrics




About the Author

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Quality Control
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Facility Management
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety