August 25, 2010
Greetings & Introduction
I'd like to take a moment and introduce myself to you. My name is Jean Yurkovic and I am the Safety Administrator for CalGeo, working in concert with the State Compensation Insurance Fund. I joined CalGeo in May 2009 and feel very fortunate to oversee CalGeo's Safety First Program. I enjoy the opportunity to provide our CalGeo members and members of the Safety First program with safety articles and information of interest via several media outlets. You will find safety articles in the Geogram, the monthly e.Geo and on the CalGeo website. If you have any articles and photographs of safety or geotechnical interest you would like published in the monthly e.Geo, I invite you to forward that information to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, remember to contact CalGeo when you have any changes in your company or personnel status information.
Enjoy your summer and be safe out there!
With Much Appreciation!
On behalf of CalGeo and its Board of Directors, we would like to extend our thanks to the following firms and individuals for their generosity in contributing to the CalGeo General Fund and/or Student Outreach program:
Thank you all for your continued support of this organization and the aspiring geotechnical students throughout the State of California.
With great sadness we report that Richard T. “Dick” Frankian, a founding member of the Soil and Foundation Engineers Association (SAFEA), now called California Geotechnical Engineering Association (CalGeo), died on May 22, 2010. A long list of Dick’s accolades include his co-founding of the Sigma Phi Delta Engineering Fraternity at both UCLA and UC Berkeley campuses, plus his involvement as a member of the Technical Advisory Committee responsible for developing the inaugural California Geotechnical Engineering registration exam. He was also a geotechnical consultant to the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission, in addition to being a world-class leader in the area of slope stability. Dick was the primary geotechnical consultant for three of the largest development projects in the history of Los Angeles County: Albertson Ranch/Calabasas, Valencia/Santa Clarita and Newhall Ranch. Our condolences to Dick’s family and multitude of friends and professional associates. He will truly be missed and dearly remembered.
Wanted: Technical Experts to Review Enforcement Cases
At CalGeo's Annual Conference in April, Jim Foley of BPELS requested that practicing engineers apply to serve as technical experts to help the BPELS Enforcement Unit evaluate claims made against licensed engineers or unlicensed practice. To complete this simple process, go to www.pels.ca.gov/licensees/expertswanted, fill out and submit the application, including the "Areas of Expertise" forms. If the enforcement analyst selects you as a reviewer, you will be provided documents to review which will include the claim, the engineer's response, plus supporting documents. You conduct the review and send your review letter with your opinions on the merits of the claim back to BPELS.
CalGeo supports our members' involvement in this process and your service to BPELS helps promote the quality of our profession.
CalGeo, as most of you know, has been following SB 972 (Wolk) regarding Indemnification language protection in design professional contracts. This bill is sponsored by ACEC-California and is strongly supported by CalGeo. It passed the Senate Floor on June 1, 2010 by a vote of 30-3, has passed all the appropriate Assembly committees and will be debated on the Assembly floor any day now. Please continue to contact your Assemblymen in support of this bill.
Regional Meeting Update
The CalGeo Regional Meeting and Webinar previously scheduled to be held in Southern California on September 23, 2010 has been changed. The meeting and webinar will be held in October, 2010. Visit our website at http://www.calgeo.org/events/meetings.php for updated information on the October meeting date and sites. We will also be providing more information in our September 2010 e.Geo publication. Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to your participation at the regional meeting or webinar this October!
Drink… Drink… Drink… Water, That Is
No matter what the time of year; no matter what the temperature; no matter where you live or work - indoors or outdoors - staying hydrated is important to overall health and performance.
Dehydration occurs when the body takes in substantially less fluid than what is lost through its normal body processes. The body is nearly 60% water by weight; the loss of just 2.5 liters (0.66 gallons) per day can adversely affect it, if not replaced. This natural process of fluid loss occurs in all environments - cold, mild, and hot. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day, even when there is a lack of thirst, replaces lost fluids.
The body is designed to maintain an internal temperature of approximately 98.6 F. The body releases excessive heat by circulating blood to the capillaries in the upper layers of the skin thus increasing heat transfer and perspiration. When the body heats up faster than it can cool itself down, mild to severe heat-related illnesses may develop.
Heat stress occurs when the body is unable to release heat and cool itself. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), when air temperature is equal to or warmer than the skin, blood brought to the skin's surface cannot efficiently release heat. The body's main cooling mechanism is the evaporation of perspiration (or sweat) and if evaporation cannot occur, the body is unable to rid itself of excess heat and this natural cooling process becomes impaired. If the body cannot release excess heat, it stores it and this increases the body's core temperature and heart rate. Prolonged heat stress can lead to death.
Increased air temperature, high humidity, radiant heat, and minimal air circulation can increase the risk of developing heat-related illnesses. Other risk factors include: increased age; body weight/body build; level of physical fitness; lack of acclimatization; poor nutrition; fatigue; alcohol or drug use; certain medical conditions, such as diabetes; wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), such as non-breathable protective clothing, hoods, and/or respirators, as they can increase workload and/or restrict movement; and inadequate water/fluid replacement.
For more information on preventing heat stress, go to http://www.dir.ca.gov/DOSH/HeatIllnessInfo.html.
R.J. Banks, MS, CIE