Many companies view process improvement, safety, and waste reduction as separate programs. It would be more beneficial if lean, safety, and sustainability were seen as three strands of a single rope used to make the rope stronger and thus improve the process. Lean and lean safety can be useful in sustaining optimum production.
Lean strategies include even more vocabulary and concepts, such as just-in-time supply chain management, transformation from a push to a pull system, standardization, autonomation, and production leveling.
Many S&HPs are faced with incorporating OSH into the company's sustainable and lean approach to business. This requires the use and interpretation of a new vocabulary including new techniques in the integration process. To say the least, it is a confusing time for the S&HP since the fit is not well defined and is not a neat mesh into lean as was the old approach to safety and health. This will require the professional to look for the place where safety has a role. Thus, we now have lean safety as a part of this business approach.
Developing a culture of trust and ownership that engages others in learning, lean thinking, and problem solving for the greater good of all is an integral part of the continuous improvement of the process. Lean is a continuous process in itself and does not occur without commitment and a time-honored approach. The ultimate goal is sustainable, waste-free, safe, continuously improving production.