Lean Safety : Transforming your Safety Culture with Lean Management book cover
1st Edition

Lean Safety
Transforming your Safety Culture with Lean Management

ISBN 9781439816424
Published December 14, 2009 by Productivity Press
186 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

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

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Hafey, Robert


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