Grinaker-LTA Earthworks Engineering, an operating group of Aveng Africa, has developed its multi-faceted skills through many years’ experience gained working across the African continent and in the developing world. The company has been involved in a large variety of projects with diverse surfacing specifications for road and airport runway construction and rehabilitation.
Safety is one of the organisation’s core values never to be compromised under any circumstances. As such, the business unit operates a Continuous Improvement (CI) department that also incorporates quality control.
After undesirable results on one of the company sites, the CI department was tasked to do a 5S site audit. The audit scope
was to look at on-site practices that might be potentially unsafe and improve overall on-site housekeeping by implementing some of the 5S TRACC principles. Although 5S principles have been applied for many years in various FMCG, beverage, automotive and other industries, application on a construction site requires decidedly innovative thinking. This is because of a multitude of contractors at all times, plus significant mobile equipment numbers and raw material quantities moving around.
During the two days spent visiting the different work areas, the team talked to staff, gathered information and took photos of unsafe areas and those where proper housekeeping was lacking.
A week later the team revisited the work areas to discuss the areas of concern and provide guidance to the people in charge on how the areas should look and why 5S should be practised in work areas (less waste, better working environment, best place to produce good quality roads, structures and bridges, and a safer site). Background on 5S and the principles of 5S along with printout copies, were handed to those on site as action lists for their respective areas.
During the second visit, a few of the areas were well on their way to cleaning up the site. The following day the CI team presented the findings of the two visits to the contract director and key on-site role players. These findings were well received and everyone could see that there was much work to be done in terms of on-site housekeeping and workplace organisation.
A month later the CI team revisited the site to do 5S training with all the site engineers and foremen in their specific areas. 5S principles were discussed and a walk-through of their work zones was done while pointing out potential 5S implementation reas. Photos were taken and it was agreed that the foremen would discuss the good and bad areas in the daily toolbox meetings. It was decided that when a 5S exercise had been completed, the before and after pictures should be displayed to showcase the 5S benefits.
Every month the CI team and site management will be visiting the work areas to track the 5S on-site progress and give feedback and more training as needed. The 5S implementation is part of a larger implementation plan driving continuous improvement through a holistic approach of implementing best practices. TRACC is used to support Grinaker-LTA Earthworks Engineering’s best practice implementation and develop internal capability within its resources.
*Taken from onTRACC Volume 1 2011