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Work Improvement Network in Furniture Industry (WINFI) training conducted in Lebanon

March 10, 2018, Beirut

Since 2016 and with financial support from the Government of Japan, UNIDO has been working in the North of Lebanon to support the wood-working and furniture making sector –  by delivering technical trainings for SMEs and young people, promoting new furniture designs and identifying market opportunities for enterprises working with this initiative. This has been done within the framework of two UNIDO projects, “Supporting the furniture sector in Northern Lebanon through upgrading and skills training” and “Creating jobs in the agro-food sector in Lebanon through skills training and improving manufacturing capacities”.

As part of the interventions focused on occupational safety and health, the project has adopted the KAIZEN and 5S approach through developing the Work Improvement Network in Furniture Industry in Lebanon, as the Participatory Action-Oriented Training (PAOT) programme for promoting occupational safety and health activities among the carpenters.

The WINFI training was organized by UNIDO at the Vocational Training Centre in Zgharta, in Northern Lebanon. A training course was conducted by the Japanese programme trainer of KAIZEN/5S, with an overall duration of five days. The trainer explained the concept of occupational safety and health (OSH) including 5S and KAIZEN in an effort to support the provision of working conditions that prevent injuries and diseases and improve productivity and the quality of products. The workshop included technical sessions on materials handling, workstation changes, physical environment, welfare facilities, environmental protection and how to develop KAIZEN plans.

The training aimed to share the concept of “5S and KAIZEN” with the participants of the training in order to improve their own working conditions. 5S is a concept “how to organize a workplace” using Japanese words: Seiri (Sort), Seiton (Set in order), Seiso (Shine), Seiketsu (Standardize), and Shitsuke (Sustain).

KAIZEN means “to improve something better” in the Japanese language. KAIZEN promotes continuous improvements at workplaces in all functions with all employees, aims to eliminate waste and support the standardization of working conditions for employees.

Furthermore, the WINFI training trained the participants on the concept of OSH and how to implement KAIZEN activities practically. During the workshop, the participants were divided into four groups. The participants discussed three good points and three KAIZEN points after every technical session. The small group discussion activities and presentations of the discussion results empowered the participants to find low-cost KAIZEN ideas by themselves. During day four and day five of the training, all participants implemented three KAIZEN plans selected by the group discussion. The participants who were carpenters also implemented KAIZEN at their own factories by themselves and presented the results of KAIZEN practices at the end of the training.