[Guest Post] Using the DMAIC Model for Workplace Safety

[Guest Post] Using the DMAIC Model for Workplace Safety

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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Written by: Jesse Allred

A methodology commonly used in Six Sigma to improve existing processes is the DMAIC model. The DMAIC cycle is a framework for problem solving which breaks down the process into five steps: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control.

The goal of improved workplace safety is to keep a facility running smoothly and profitably. DMAIC looks to improve a process to avoid future inconsistencies. Likewise, a good workplace safety program focuses on foreseeing hazards and taking active steps to avoid them.

In this post, we will look at how to apply DMAIC to improve safety in the workplace.

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Elements of Six Sigma

Six Sigma was made popular in the 1980s by Motorola engineer Bill Smith. Three elements primarily make up a Six Sigma system: process improvement, process design, and process management. Under these elements are a variety of concepts that work to drive improvement of the processes. A few of them include the PDCA cycle, Pareto’s 80-20 Principle, and the Quality Trilogy Model.

Six Sigma strives to continually improve a process to the point where it produces predictable results. In the workplace, there is hardly a way to achieve predictable results if there is a high chance of an employee getting hurt during the process.

Here’s how Six Sigma’s DMAIC methodology can be used to improve processes involving workplace safety.


Define the goal of a process by identifying a hazardous process or task that is unsafe. In this step, you will also identify the goals of completing the cycle. In terms of workplace safety, you could focus on improving overall safety performance, reducing the number of injuries occurring, or lessening the severity of injuries that occur. Articulate the available resources, potential trouble spots, and draw out a timeline.


The next step is to gather data and establish a “baseline” or base measurement. Assess the safety performance of the workplace using safety audits, safety checklists, and input from workers to collect useful data.


Analyze the data found in the previous step to find the root cause for why injuries or accidents are occurring. To fix a problem, you need a complete understanding of the problem. Using Six Sigma tools like the Five Whys or Fishbone Diagram can be a helpful place to begin searching for root causes behind frustrating problems. Start by writing a problem statement and begin asking “why” until you identify the underlying cause of the problem.


Once the root cause has been identified, the improve phase focuses on making continuous improvements in order to find a permanent solution to the problem. After identifying the root cause of the problem, you will know what components will need to be worked on and you can start making those improvements. Remember to test proposed solutions first to ensure they are effective.


This phase is when you verify that the changes you implemented in the improve phase are effective and financially viable. This is essentially a sustaining phase and should prompt a re-evaluation if something goes wrong.

 Taking the Six Sigma mindset and applying it to workplace safety can help reduce inefficiencies while achieving predictable results. Standardizing safe work practices keeps workers from being taken off the job due to injury, and reduces time wasted in response to avoidable emergencies. Six Sigma may primarily focus on the manufacturing aspect of a facility, but using it for a safer workplace can be extremely effective.


Jesse Allred is a content creator for Creative Safety Supply, specializing in 5S implementation, Six Sigma and workplace safety.

The post [Guest Post] Using the DMAIC Model for Workplace Safety appeared first on Six Sigma Daily.

Original: https://www.sixsigmadaily.com/using-dmaic-model-workplace-safety/
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Posted: August 14, 2018, 11:00 am

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