OpusWorks Blog

Important Information Regarding Corona Virus and Application of your Skills

Posted on March 20 , 2020


What YOU can do:

Important Information Regarding Corona Virus and Application of your Skills

First and foremost, we hope this note finds you healthy and in good cheer. While unplanned, this is certainly a great time for our students to be learning the valuable tools and techniques presented in the Green Belt training program. This training certainly has a positive impact on the work processes each trainee encounters on the job every day, but as many of you suspect, that same knowledge can be applied at home.

Take the COVID-19 virus as an example of how this training can be used to help you and those you know and love through this difficult time. There is a large volume of data being generated in relation to the virus that can easily be misinterpreted, leading to poor decision making. With a better understanding of statistics and data analysis, you will certainly be able to make better, more informed decisions. Let’s look at just a few of the skills taught in the Green Belt training that can be used to help you fight COVID-19:

Apply 5S Principles to Virus Response:

Use the skills taught in the 5S module to help you, and by extension your family and friends, be better prepared and protected over the coming months.

Sort - Understand what food, medicine, and cleaning supplies you have on hand. Take time to inventory these items and separate what is needed from what is not needed. You may find some items are empty or have expired. Other items may not be needed for some time and can be placed in hard-to-reach locations. Take note of food items that may have a short shelf life vs. those that are shelf safe.
Store (Straighten) - Arrange items purposefully so you have access to what you need, when you need it. Place food items that will expire or go bad soonest closer to a pantry door where they can be consumed first. Disinfectant supplies should be stored close to where they will be needed. Don’t store Lysol spray in the laundry room when you need it to spray shoes as you take them o_ at the door when coming home. Don’t forget to store hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes in your vehicle! Incorporating Visual Management will help decrease the number of trips you need to make to a store.
Shine - Now is a great time to increase the cleanliness at our workplaces and our homes. Leave items that may be contaminated, like shoes or outerwear, at the door when you arrive home. Keep your cell phone disinfected regularly by wiping the edges, back, and front with a disinfecting wipe. Clean countertops and food prep areas frequently. Wash your hands more often and be sure to disinfect after contacting anything in public. Use disinfecting wipes on “common use” pieces of equipment before and after you use them. Try to keep from contaminating people or places by sneezing into your elbow and covering your mouth.
Standardize - This is all about adopting a system that helps you maintain the first three S’s (Sort, Store, Shine). Ensure the whole family is part of the process and even assign areas of responsibility so that everyone stays engaged over time. Standard Work techniques are helpful here.
Sustain - Making 5S a daily habit will ensure that the gains are not lost over time. Being self-disciplined will maximize the benefits of 5S over time and will allow the practitioner to discover other areas of life that would benefit from the process.

Then there is Visual Management ...

Consider how you might improve your response to COVID-19 if you incorporated the techniques taught in the Visual Management module into your 5S practices.

  • A box for shoes to be placed at the door when entering the house, reminds you to take them off.
  • A sign on the fridge will remind the family to wash their hands before fixing food.
  • A checklist of needed items that goes with you to the store ensures items are not forgotten and eliminates unnecessary shopping trips.
  • Changing the background image on your cell phone to a picture of Lysol wipes will help remind you to keep it clean.

Last but not least Standard Work

Standard Work - Brings together all your 5S and Visual Management efforts and puts in place standard process steps that will ensure proper protocols are followed. If you spend time on the CDC or WHO websites, you will find helpful Standard Work process steps for mitigating the risks for catching COVID-19. Undoubtedly, you’ve seen much said on the news about:
  • Proper hand washing.
  • What to do when entering or leaving a store.
  • What to do when returning to your car.
  • What to do when entering your home after being out.

Following well thought-out and thorough standard work steps will help you avoid mistakes or missteps that may result in infection.

In Summary ...

These are just a few ideas that came to mind as our thoughts turned to all of you and your families during this crisis. We’re sure you will discover even more ways to apply the skills you are acquiring in the Green Belt program and this will empower you to better fight the COVID-19 virus! Employing these skills will actually help reduce the amount of time it takes to control the spread of the virus and get the economy, school schedules, visits to grandparents, and your entire life back to normal. By continuing your training and developing your skills, you will become more productive, your team and organization will transform from good to great, and you will increase the quality of life for you and your family … so press on!


The OpusWorks® Team


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