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Poka -Yoke and the Five S's

It's too bad that idealism and pragmatism find such divergence in 
our discussions of what should be done versus what could be 
done. It's clear when pragmatism drives us to stop asking "why?" 
after only two or three iterations as opposed to the full five (or more) 
needed to get to root causes that prevention will forever be thwarted 
by guards with cattle prods. And why should it not be cost effective 
to address root causes? The pragmatists challenge us to "get 
real!"  but just like the quality revolution created a new paradigm for 
manufacturing in Japan, I can only hope that the new paradigm for 
production here in the US includes asking ourselves "why?" often 
enough to get to root causes -- and that the answers to our 
questioning pay dividends both in the short and long terms.

All of this is not to say that there's a prevention/source reduction 
solution to every problem. Recognizing realities (pragmatism) is 
important if we are to be a force for incremental or revolutionary 
change in how we conduct business. So -- even if we can't recreate 
all of our manufacturing facilities as paragons of prevention (all 
painted white), we should at least get to root causes and work 
backwards from what should be done to what could be done -- 
staying as close to the "should" as we possibly can!

I am unfamiliar with both Poka-Yoke and the Five S's. Can you 
(Bob) get me up to speed on these?

Doug Kievit-Kylar, Pollution Prevention Planner
Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
Environmental Assistance Division
103 South Main Street
Waterbury   VT   05671-0411
phone: (802) 241-3628
FAX: (802) 241-3273
e-mail: Doug.Kievit-Kylar@anrmail.anr.state.vt.us
"Smart people solve problems. Geniuses prevent them."
-- The wisdom of Albert Einstein --