Insights from industry

How to Ensure Safety for Fine Chemical Custom Manufacturing

In this interview, Gregg Sitton, HSE Manager, from Jayhawk Fine Chemicals talks to AZoM about how they implement safety training for their staff and customers for handling fine chemical custom manufacturing.

What are today’s most important safety issues for fine chemical custom manufacturing?

Safety is paramount, and achieving a successful program is twofold:

In the fine chemical custom manufacturing world, process safety is built into all our systems to ensure that we manage hazards responsibly and correctly. It is imperative that we understand and train our employees and contractors, and involve our customers, on the hazards of dealing with the many different chemicals and processes we provide.  

Personal safety is equally important. This is the more typical issue of dealing with accidents that lead to injury.  It is easy to quote the slogan that “all accidents are preventable,” but making it a part of everyday life at work and at home is the challenge. Over the last few years, we have focused on non-routine task safety.

Employees are great at staying safe during routine jobs, but we found after reviewing past incidents, most of the accidents occur during non-routine tasks.  It is during these tasks that we must slow down and take even more precautionary steps such as job safety analysis (JSA). JSA breaks the task down into individual steps where employees can consider what the safety concerns are and how to mitigate those concerns. Through this analysis and other methods, non-routine task incidents have reduced significantly.

How would you best define Jayhawk’s safety culture?

Safety culture always takes time to develop and improve. Through employee involvement and training, enforcement and incentive programs, we have continually worked to improve and ingrain safety as a way of life and not just something you turn on and off at the site gate.

How are new employees trained? What type of continuous education do they receive?

Training is key in the process industry.  It is a whole new world to most new employees. We utilize various methods of training from classroom, virtual, hands-on and observation.  No one method works best for everyone, but with the combination of all of these we have achieved a strong training program, active from day one on the job until retirement. No one at Jayhawk ever stops learning about safety.

How does Jayhawk secure its expansive land mass and hazardous chemical inventories?

Jayhawk follows Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Responsible Care principles to ensure security at our site. We work together with DHS to ensure risk based performance standards are achieved, measures are in place and continuously evaluated  to protect personnel, infrastructure and chemical holdings from identified threats. Employees are also trained to recognize and respond to any unusual activity at the site.

Employees are trained to ensure safety and security are implemented at the site.

Employees are trained to ensure safety and security are implemented at the site.

How often is Jayhawk audited for safety compliance?

Jayhawk is routinely audited by regulatory agencies, internal corporate departments and customers.  While you might think regulatory audits are the most difficult, customer audits are actually the most stringent. Exchanging best practices with our customers is one of the highlights of these reviews.

What is Jayhawk’s home State of Kansas doing at the State and Local level to promote safety?

Kansas is a very business friendly state and works closely with us to enforce and ensure employee health, safety and environmental stewardship. They offer conferences, webinars and other training opportunities to help businesses stay abreast of current regulations.

On the local level, Jayhawk is involved in the county emergency planning committee, with one of our employees serving as Chair. We regularly participate in emergency drills with first responders.  Overall, Jayhawk’s experience with Kansas has been one of partnership and commitment.

Where can our readers go to find out more?

Gregg Sitton

To find out more please visit our website.

About Gregg Sitton

Greg Sitton is currently Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Manager as well as Assistant Site Manager for Jayhawk Fine Chemicals.

Gregg holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and has managed Operations, Engineering and Maintenance departments while at Jayhawk the past 30 years.

About CABB Group GmbH

CABB Group GmbH is a leading custom manufacturer of starting materials, active ingredients and advanced intermediates; a major producer of high-purity monochloroacetic acid; and a supplier of premium fine chemicals. We are small enough to focus on attentive customer partnerships, yet large enough to master complex chemical synthesis. Customers benefit from CABB’s manufacturing excellence, product quality, security of supply, and collaborative approach to sourcing solutions.  Custom manufacturing services are offered from three complementary multi-purpose production sites: Kokkola, Finland; Pratteln,Switzerland; and Galena, Kansas USA ("Jayhawk")."

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

Mychealla Rice

Written by

Mychealla Rice

Mychealla graduated from Northumbria University in Newcastle with a 2:1 in Journalism with English Literature. Mychealla is a keen traveller, spending time in Australia, Thailand and Italy. Mychealla plans to see more of Europe in the future. Mychealla’s interests include photography and music. In her spare time, she likes to go shopping and visit family and friends back in Ireland.


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