RHI Magnesita’s culture of safety resonates throughout its York plant

At RHI Magnesita’s Industrial Site in York County, Pennsylvania, safety is the #1 priority in every aspect of the organization. ‘We, as people, really matter to the company,’ one employee says.

Written by: Will Hanlon
Story paid for by: RHI Magnesita
Father and son Bruce and Bryant Geesey are among the more than 350 employees who work at RHI Magnesita’s York location. (Photo by Paul Chaplin for Our York Media)

Bruce Geesey looks at the people in his department at RHI Magnesita like he would if his own son were doing the job.

For Bruce, a production manager at the company’s Industrial Site in York County, Pennsylvania, it’s not just a hypothetical situation — his 25-year-old son, Bryant, is a production technician in the engineered ceramics department at the York site.

“I wouldn’t have my son working here if I didn’t feel it was a safe place to work,” Bruce says. “Safety’s part of the culture here. We don’t only act it; we live it.”

There are over 350 employees who work at RHI Magnesita’s York location, making refractory products for the steel industry and other high-temperature industrial process industries. The process in York is full-lifecycle – they mine the raw materials from the onsite quarry, turn the material into finished goods, then ship the products to their customers.

“The company’s a big part of our lives,” Bruce Geesey says. “I think it’s pretty cool we can both work here.” (Photo by Paul Chaplin for Our York Media)

Working his way up

For the past 14 years, Bruce has been an employee with RHI Magnesita. He started as a press operator in the production department. From there, he spent time in quality control, research & development, and then in production planning before earning his current managerial role.

“I worked my way up through the company,” he says. “It’s encouraged.  We promote from within.”

It’s partly why he advised his son to apply when he turned 21. He told him it is a well-paying job that would allow him to buy a house and start a family.

For Bryant, it made sense. “Plus,” Bryant says, “I saw how well they take care of my dad.”

A large part of Geraldine Gabon and Rory Nesmith's job is to prevent injuries and make sure every employee has an opportunity to speak up to ensure they maintain a safe workplace. (Photo by Paul Chaplin for Our York Media)

Where people matter

Geraldine Gabon lost her mother not long after she started at RHI Magnesita earlier this year. The same day, people at the company heard, she says, and everyone from her manager to HR reached out to her. They sent her flowers and made her feel she wasn’t alone in what she had going on outside of work.

“Even though I was new, they let me take time to take care of everything I needed to,” she says.

When she came back to work, the company offered her support through its Employee Assistance Program, which provides professional and confidential mental health support to workers whenever they need it.

“We, as people, really matter to the company,” she says.

Geraldine Gabon and Rory Nesmith, HSE Coordinators at the company, take pride in ensuring every employee has the right to work in a safe environment and that they’re going to go home safe. (Photo by Paul Chaplin for Our York Media)

Going home safe

People are why safety is the #1 priority in every aspect of the organization, says her colleague, Rory Nesmith. The two are both HSE Coordinators at the company, overseeing employee health and safety at the York plant as well as maintaining compliance with state and federal environmental regulations.

A large part of Rory’s role is to prevent injuries and make sure every employee has an opportunity to speak up to ensure they maintain a safe workplace.

“Part of our safety culture here is that we report everything,” he says. “We report near-misses. We have a tracking system in place for employees to communicate these things.”

It’s something he takes pride in.

“We want to ensure every employee has the right to work in a safe environment and that they’re going to go home safe,” Rory says.

“I wouldn’t have my son working here if I didn’t feel it was a safe place to work,” Bruce Geesey says. “Safety’s part of the culture here. We don’t only act it; we live it.” (Photo by Paul Chaplin for Our York Media)

‘A big part of our lives’

Bryant looks at his father, who started where he is as a production technician and later transitioned to management. He sees the possibility of pursuing a similar path. But for now, Bryant says, he enjoys the active and physical part of his job.

Bruce appreciates the opportunity RHI Magnesita has afforded him and his family.

“The company’s a big part of our lives,” he says. “I think it’s pretty cool we can both work here.”

Work at RHI Magnesita

Visit RHI Magnesita’s career fair anytime between 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, at 425 S. Salem Church Road, York, PA.

No need to pre-apply. Walk-ins welcome. Same-day interviews guaranteed.

Full time and temporary positions available, with a $3,000 sign-on bonus, competitive wages, and excellent medical, dental, vision, and 401k match options

Learn more

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