Whilst Health and Safety isn’t something I would normally share and comment about, this headline came up in the local paper last night. It got me thinking about how one of the Lean values is “Safety of Employees“, and that Lean environments can underpin a good Health and Safety culture.

On reading the article it explained that the employee had only been with the business for six weeks and was left unmanaged in the factory to clean a machine sensor. He was only found when his family realised that he hadn’t come home from work.

What is also mentioned is that automated safety features had been disabled by management and repeated concerns ignored.

What this article highlighted to me were 4 things-

  1. The importance of senior leadership and management being connected to and aware of what goes on in their business and not being ignorant to it. Putting lives at risk and cutting corners for the sake of making money is totally unacceptable.
  2. The synergy between Health & Safety and Lean when it comes to processes to prevent errors, or in this case a fatal accident. Having preventative maintenance, a robust process for reporting faults, and work instructions that incorporated the risk assessments and safe working practices, may have helped to prevent this incident occurring.
  3. The importance of new starter inductions and training to highlight Health & Safety hazards on day one. A comprehensive induction is essential to the employee’s new starter experience and is proven to get employees engaged into the business faster.
  4. This was a prime example of poor workplace culture. If employees are fearful of reprisal from leaders because they are highlighting problems and issues, how can the business improve? A Lean collaborative working culture allows employees and leaders to engage with each other, and find a solution that works for everyone.


Combined Minds work with expert Associate Health & Safety Consultants to ensure businesses provide a safe working environment for their employees, but also some management tools and techniques to keep it that way.

#totalproductivemaintenance #Lean #leadership #processes #healthandsafety