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COSHRA REQUIREMENTS TO DETRACT FROM WORKER HEALTH AND SAFETY, ACCORDING TO SHRM

 COSHRA REQUIREMENTS TO DETRACT FROM WORKER HEALTH AND SAFETY,
 ACCORDING TO SHRM
 WASHINGTON, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- In testimony today on the Comprehensive Occupational Safety and Health Reform Act (COSHRA), Merle Alvis, manager of employee and community relations with Babcock & Wilcox in Lynchburg, Va., told the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee that the proposed legislation would cost her company approximately one half million dollars. If passed, COSHRA (S. 1622) would require every employer with 11 or more employees to establish on-site joint labor-management Safety and Health Committees.
 Alvis, testifying on behalf of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), stated that Babcock & Wilcox's commitment to safety is unquestionable and that their safety program is comprehensive. "We do not need a mandated Safety and health Committee to review programs, conduct inspections, hold meetings or insure employee rights already protected by law," said Alvis. Babcock and Wilcox is the sole supplier of nuclear fuel components to the U.S. Navy and the primary supplier of research and test reactor fuel for universities and national laboratories.
 She estimates a mandated safety program would cost her company more than $470,000 per year, not including the costs of training, fringe benefits or professional staff to oversee the administration of another committee. "At Babcock & Wilcox we have been forced to downsize as a result of cuts in the defense budget, and although we're presently seeking out new markets, we have been forced to let approximately 300 employees go since the beginning of this year. This provision will not improve worker safety and health within my company -- we already have extensive employee participation and training programs. It would, however, reduce our competitiveness."
 In her testimony, Alvis also reiterated SHRM's view that building incentives for employers to encourage employee participation and adopt flexible work safety programs best suited to their company will be much more effective, and far less costly to implement and enforce than a government mandated program such as COSHRA.
 The Society for Human Resource Management is the leading voice of the human resource profession, representing the interests of 80,000 members from around the world including individuals from more than 400 professional and 200 student chapters.
 -0- 6/10/92
 /CONTACT: Kathron A. Compton of Society for Human Resource Management, 703-548-3440/ CO: Society for Human Resource Management ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: LEG


DC -- DC019 -- 8815 06/10/92 12:09 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 10, 1992
Words:399
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