Lean *is* Safety
Saw this quote in an article about safety:
“A range of issues and concerns fall under the rubric of ‘globalization,' from the challenges of maintaining safe and healthy workplaces amidst the pressures of lean manufacturing environments…”
I suspect this article didn't mean “lean manufacturing” environments, but maybe meant lean “manufacturing environments” if you see the distinction there. If they meant “lean” in terms of “strapped for people and resources” (the wrong definition of lean) then I could see safety being a concern. If they meant “lean” as the Toyota Production System (the right definition), then declines in safety shouldn't be a problem or a worry.
Now, I'm not a pollyanna and I realize Toyota's not perfect on safety. They're human. But, there's nothing in stated lean methodologies or philosophies that says worker safety isn't important. Quite the opposite from my first-hand experience with lean outside of Toyota.
When I was in non-lean environments, traditional mass production, that's when I've seen the LEAST concern for worker safety.
What do you think? Scroll down to comment or share your thoughts and the post on social media. Don't want to miss a post or podcast? Subscribe to get notified about posts via email daily or weekly.
- Jody Crane, MD: Lean in Emergency Medicine and Hospitals; 3 Big Issues Causing Tough Times in Healthcare - February 1, 2023
- Alternative History: GM Uses Lean to Remain #1 in the Auto Industry - January 31, 2023
- Fall in Love with the Problem, not the Solution: In Entrepreneurship and Continuous Improvement - January 29, 2023