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The 6th and 7th S

The Sixth S – Safety

The questions I get here are, “Shouldn’t safety be considered in all aspects of the first five S’s?” My
obvious answer is yes but it needs to be emphasized more. I often hear that safety is a priority, yet it
is frequently overshadowed by actions when the pressure is on. Lost time at work due to recordable
injuries has been steady for the last 3 years in the State of California according to the Department of
Industrial Relations, which is not progress
(https://www.dir.ca.gov/oprl/Injuries/2015/2015Table11.pdf). These statistics tell us that what we
are doing is not working well. Adding some energy in this direction to a successful, existing program
will only help us improve what we all know is our greatest resource – people.

The Seventh S – Security

This addition includes two main categories of security: physical and intellectual or hard and soft.
Physical security includes things like access to buildings, areas of buildings and specific rooms.
Questions that need to be answered are ones like, “Who has the keys to this lock?” and “What times
should be people be in certain areas of the building?” Taking security and preparation seriously
should include an Emergency Preparation Plan as well as mandatory recurring training for all
employees. One good resource to keep you thinking about security was a video recently put
together by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department titled “Surviving an Active Shooter”
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFQ-oxhdFjE).

The softer side of security deals with information and intellectual property. This can include anti-
virus software and firewalls, controlled access to files and documents based on need and restrictions
of professional conversations. It can be as serious as ITAR and national security issues or as
damaging as competition. I believe that behavior and culture are key here. Many obstacles and
roadblocks can be put in place to prevent and deter a breach in security but nothing is better than
everyone’s awareness of potential and existing issues.

When implementing a 7S program at your workplace, either from scratch or modifying/updating


your current one, here are some recommendations:

Plan this out; don’t just jump into it; this is not a “get it done” program.

Audit sheets should include all 7 S’s; this will provide the focus on the needed areas.
Stay aware of potential issues and hazards; fix them once identified.

Write or update your Emergency Preparation Plan and train with it regularly; it will pay off!

Make training fun and memorable, not another additional requirement.