CalGeo E Newsletter

April 11, 2012

Regional Meeting & Webcast


UC Davis professor Ross Boulanger

Professor Ross Boulanger

CalGeo is pleased to announce that our next Regional Meeting will be Tuesday, June 19 in Sacramento. UC Davis Professor Ross Boulanger will be presenting on "Geotechnical Lessons From The 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake." This presentation will examine some of the key lessons from the quake and discuss how they relate to current issues in geotechnical practice in the United States.


Regional Meeting & Webcast »

Member News »

Legislative Happenings »

Job Board »

Safety First »

If you can't make it to Sacramento, we'll also be webcasting this meeting live to various host sites throughout California. Click here for more information and to register.


The registration deadline is June 13.



Member News

Evolving LACO Associates Adds Staff to the Santa Rosa Office


North Coast engineering and consulting firm LACO Associates continues to expand its operations with new staff in its Santa Rosa office. In the wake of the service gap left by a national geo-environmental firm, LACO has hired a second civil engineer to lead its service offerings in the greater Santa Rosa community.

Ted Crump, PE, has joined the team as LACO's Regional Engineering Manager for the Santa Rosa office. Mr. Crump has more than 20 years of geotechnical and civil engineering experience on large municipal and institutional projects. His experience includes construction materials testing and inspection for public education, health care, water supply and transportation facilities.

"We are enthusiastic about the leadership, management and project-fulfillment skills Ted brings to LACO and the community," said Christopher Watt, LACO's Principal Engineering Geologist.

For more information, visit, or phone (707) 462-0222.



Welcome Our Newest Members!



Amanda Hancock
Middle Earth Geo Testing, Inc.
954 N. Lemon Street
Orange, CA 92867-5605
(714) 633-5025


Sean Maloney
Maloney Construction, Inc.
50 California Street, Suite 1500
San Francisco, CA 94111-4612
(415) 277-5977


Noah Smith
Neil O. Anderson & Associates, Inc.
5051 Commercial Circle, Unit B
Concord, CA 94520
(925) 609-7224


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Legislative Happenings

By Rick Keene


California State Capitol
The deadline for new bills has passed and we now have nearly 2,000 pieces of proposed legislation to follow, not including those still hanging around from last year. CalGeo's Legislation Committee has reviewed and selected the most critical bills from the group and has posted them on the CalGeo website for your review. Advocacy objectives will be posted as they are developed, so stay tuned for updates.

We've also been active working with elected officials and other stakeholder groups on behalf of our members. We will soon be meeting again with the Board of Professional Engineers to see if we can develop a better approach to weeding out the unnecessary number of member disciplinary complaints stemming from insurance company settlements. We are connecting legislative committee members and CalGeo President Rex Upp with their district legislators to build relationships in preparation for our own proactive agenda next year. We are also meeting with our engineering group counterparts to coordinate legislative advocacy efforts where effective.


Click here for the CalGeo bill tracker.


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Visit our website for the latest information on current available positions throughout the industry, including:

  • Entry Level Field Geologist with American Geotechnical, Inc.


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Safety First

Working in a Noisy World

Courtesy of State Compensation Insurance Fund of California


More than ever, we are living in a loud and noisy world. In the workplace, excessive exposure to noise could cause permanent hearing loss. To protect worker hearing, employers should conduct noise level surveys, control noise exposures by eliminating or isolating the source, enroll affected employees in a hearing conservation program, and provide hearing protection.

Hearing protection devices (HPD) such as earmuffs and earplugs can be an effective measure to protect hearing in noisy work environments. However, hearing protection devices are only effective if they are properly sized and carefully fitted into or over the ear. Bear in mind that HPDs do not eliminate the hazard and put the responsibility on the worker.

Common HPD categories are earplugs and earmuffs:

Formable earplugs are made of expandable foam and one size fits most people. These earplugs must be narrowed and compressed by rolling between your fingers before being inserted into the ear canal. Once inserted, the earplug expands to fill the ear canal and reduce noise transmission into the ear. If they're inserted incorrectly, they won't provide much protection against noise.

Pre-molded earplugs are made from flexible plastics in different sizes. They should be selected to provide the best fit for each ear.

Semi-aural devices (or canal caps) consist of flexible tips on a light-weight headband. They provide less protection than earplugs or earmuffs but may be good for intermittent use.

Earmuffs are rigid cups with soft plastic cushions that seal around the ears.

To ensure the cleanliness of your HPDs and prevent ear infections, precautions must be taken. Hands should be clean before rolling foam earplugs. If possible, disposable earplugs should be disposed of after each use. If reused, earplugs should be washed with soap and warm water and allowed to dry thoroughly before reuse.

Depending on the worksite conditions, keeping hands clean may not always be possible. Pre-formed earplugs often come with a plastic stick at the outer end. This type of earplug allows for insertion and removal without touching the part of the earplug that enters the ear.

Earmuffs are less likely than earplugs to contribute to ear infections. However, earmuff cushions should be periodically wiped or washed clean. Workers who experience multiple ear infections with earplugs should wear earmuffs. Workers should let employers know which HPD is best for them to wear, and feedback from workers should be considered when purchasing HPDs.


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