Chapter 6
Focused Improvement, 
Training and Education, 
and SHE
Capabilities can be extended indefinitely when everyone begins
to think.
Taiichi Ohno
6.1  Rationale behind Integrating 
FocusedImprovement and SHE
By integrating its focused improvement (FI) and SHE processes an organi-
zation can more effectively identify, address, and eliminate the root causes
of accidents and incidents and thereby achieve its vision of safety and
manufacturing excellence: zero accidents, zero incidents, and zero losses.
The focused improvement pillar provides powerful tools and techniques
for achieving continual improvement (Kobetsu Kaizen) through formal,
small-team problem solving that can be effectively utilized in the SHE area.
Accidents can be eliminated and safety and sustainability performance can
be improved by applying FI methodologies such as: 5-Why root cause anal-
ysis, Pareto charting, fishbone diagrams, process flow, PDCA, and CAPDo
to safety, health, and the environment. By tapping into the collective
118 ◾  Lean Sustainability
creativity and intelligence of all employees the FI process enables an orga-
nization to identify and implement new solutions to difficult and often long-
standing safety, health, and environmental challenges.
6.2  SHE Kaizens
Safety, health, and environment should be managed like all other Lean or
TPM pillars, based upon loss-tree data. Accidents and environmental inci-
dents are reactive, or after-the-fact, loss data that can be used to identify
areas that require SHE focused improvement. More importantly, information
on near misses, SHE F-tags, and behavioral observations can be considered
valuable pre-loss data or jewels that can be mined to bring real value to the
organization. Pre-loss data enable one to proactively identify improvements
that are needed to prevent accidents, incidents, and losses before they occur.
SHE F-tags provide data on unsafe conditions in need of improvement,
whereas formal safety observations provide information on at-risk behaviors
that can be addressed via kaizens.
Formal improvement or kaizen teams should be established to tackle
safety, health, and environmental issues that involve significant and chal-
lenging losses, and can best be addressed by tapping into the collec-
tive expertise of a group. SHE kaizen teams are typically established to
address chronic SHE losses that have complex and multiple causes. Each
organization should develop a kaizen register, as shown in Table6.1,
which lists the potential improvement projects covering all pillars that
can be pursued at the site. The example kaizen register lists the safety,
health, and environmental improvement projects that should be overseen
by the SHE pillar team. The register includes the name or theme of the
kaizen, a description of the project scope, an estimate of the losses that
can be eliminated by the project, the estimated cost of the project, and
the projected net savings from the project. Projects are added to the reg-
ister by the organization’s FI pillar leader based upon site loss-tree data.
Organizations committed to achieving safety, health, and environmental
excellence should ensure that some SHE improvement projects are always
included on the site’s overall kaizen register. A key role of the site’s SHE
pillar leader and team is to identify safety, health, and environmental
improvement projects and to advocate for their implementation by the
organization. The site’s Lean or continuous improvement leadership group
reviews projects on the register and approves and resources the projects.
Focused Improvement, Training and Education, and SHE ◾  119
Table6.1  Example of a Kaizen Register
Area Pillar
Kaizen Topic/
Theme Scope Losses
Cost ($)
Kaizen Net
Savings ($) Time Resp.
SHE Elimination of
failure to properly
lockout equipment
All lines 10 LTAs,
$50,000 $950,000 Q4 2010 B. Safe
SHE Reduction in noise
Lines 1–10 20 hearing
loss cases,
$150,000 $450,000 Q1 2011 T. Bill
SHE Reduction in site
effluent BOD
Washouts 2 fines,
1 ton product,
$200,000 $600,000 Q2 2011 I. Green

Get Lean Sustainability now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.