Improving Safety Performance Through 5S Program

Antti Leino1, Riku Heinonen2 & Mari Kiurula3

1Manager for Safety Development, BU Skanska Finland, P.O.BOX 114, FI-00101 Helsinki-Finland, Phone +358 40 866 8551, [email protected]
2Safety Engineer, BU Skanska Finland, Phone +358 40 5317896, [email protected]
3Safety Engineer, BU Skanska Finland, Phone +358 40 727 8585, [email protected]


Employees in the construction industry suffer from poor health and safety performance. Beyond the human suffering, this implies a vast economical problem. Among the most common accident causes in construction are slips, trips and falls (on same level) which often relate to poor order and tidiness. This study describes a 5S program that was launched in a Finnish construction company. The aim of the program was to improve order and tidiness and consequently safety performance. The program consisted of the following phases: awareness campaign, management training, launch of three eLearning training modules, workshops at every site during one week, management site safety visits and follow up inspections. The workshops engaged approximately 2770 employees at 190 jobsites during one week. 94% of staff employees that participated in the workshops considered the workshops beneficial. Actions to improve order and tidiness were achieved through personal engagement and pledges. Safety performance improvement turned out promising. Weekly safety inspection indices rose by 3.4 percentage points. Number of accidents associated with slips and trips reduced. The suggested model enables personnel engagement into order and tidiness improvement. Safety performance follow-up after three months, however, reveal fading effect. Thus a recommendation is made that regular engagement activities on housekeeping improvement need to be incorporated into the construction process.


Safety, Accident, 5S, Construction, Housekeeping, Prevention



Leino, A. , Heinonen, R. & Kiurula, M. 2014, 'Improving Safety Performance Through 5S Program' In:, Kalsaas, B. T., Koskela, L. & Saurin, T. A., 22nd Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Oslo, Norway, 25-27 Jun 2014. pp 1401-1412

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