Santa Clara Center for Occupational Health

The Santa Clara Center for Occupational Health (SCCOSH) grew from the efforts of three women's health and labor rights organizers - Robin Baker, Amanda Hawes, and Pat Lamborn, who had come to focus on the Silicon Valley's largely unrepresented working-class minorities in the late 1970s. The three met sometime in 1977 at the Pacific Studies Center in Mountain View, where a small group had been meeting intermittently to discuss occupational health. Not long after, Baker, Hawes, and Lamborn together applied for and received a workers training grant from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which they used to fund the Project on Health and Safety in Electronics (PHASE) 1978-1980.

During the three years covered by the initial federal grant, PHASE produced a series of occupational hazards factsheets for electronics workers. First introduced in 1979, the program also included a multilingual telephone consultation service for electronics workers. While not a program to organize workers, PHASE efforts to raise awareness of occupational hazards resulted in open conflict with many Silicon Valley electronics companies. In 1979 the three women established a sister group to PHASE, the Electronics Committee on Safety and Health (ECOSH), to undertake more direct worker organizing while PHASE remained focused on voluntary educational programming. SCCOSH became the overarching agency for these two groups, PHASE and ECOSH, formally established on July 19, 1979, with a five-member Governing Board of Robin Baker, Amanda Hawes, Pat Lamborn, Mark Fee, and Andy Rowland. SCCOSH expanded its governing board to seven members in 1980, and again to nine members in 1981.


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2016-08-14 11:08:15 am

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