Celebrating our S.L.A.M. Safety Award Winners

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6/30/2023 7:28:26 PM

At Michael Baker International, a focus on safety is our highest priority. We consider safety to be the lynchpin of our daily operations, and every employee – whether working in the field, remotely or in an office location – has the responsibility of maintaining a safe work environment.

We utilize our S.L.A.M. safety tool and process to strengthen our safety culture, promote safety awareness, recognize hazards and assess and manage risk. This includes:

  • STOP and consider risk in surroundings and the environment
  • LOOK for hazards with harm potential
  • ASSESS the risk
  • MANAGE the risk

​The S.L.A.M. Safety Award is an annual award recognizing Michael Baker teams that improved a safety process, contributed to this safety culture and achieved outstanding safety performance over a significant period of time.

As National Safety Month comes to a close, we are excited to announce this year’s S.L.A.M. Safety Award winners: SEPTA's Elwyn to Wawa Restoration Project (S.L.A.M. Construction Services) and the Santa Ana Construction Stormwater team (S.L.A.M. Field Services).

Learn more about these projects below!


S.L.A.M. Construction Services Winner

SEPTA Elwyn to Wawa Restoration Project

Middleton Township, Pennsylvania


Michael Baker provided Construction Management services for the $198 million Elwyn to Wawa Restoration Project. Michael Baker worked with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), the contractor and the designer of record to restore more than 3.5 miles of Regional Rail service, including four bridges, five culverts, a new pedestrian culvert, an overhead catenary system, stormwater management measures and geotechnical slope stabilization features.

As construction manager for the project from March 2018 to August 2022, Michael Baker provided a construction field team responsible for proactively driving performance. Personnel included a construction manager, senior inspectors, project engineer, document controller, material testing, as well as working closely with a separate consultant providing special inspections and the SEPTA’s on-site project team.

The construction project encountered a range of risks, including standard hazards like falls and equipment accidents, as well as unique challenges such as COVID-19 protocols, a variety of frequently used equipment and working around active rail tracks. To mitigate the identified risks, close collaboration took place between the project team, contractors and SEPTA. Safety measures included site-specific work plans; regular inspection of equipment including cranes; schedule and scope adjustments to minimize impact to active railroad tracks; safety compliance monitoring; and special personal protective equipment and training.

Through the implementation of comprehensive safety measures, proactive risk management, and a strong safety culture, the project team successfully completed the construction project in time for SEPTA’s return of passenger rail service in August 2022 and without any safety incidents related to working around active tracks.


S.L.A.M. Field Services Winner

Santa Ana Construction Stormwater

Santa Ana, California


In 2020, the Apple Fire caused severe damage to the San Gorgonio Flowline No. 1 Hydroelectric Facility, located in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, California. This facility provides the primary water source to the Banning Bench Community, a small unincorporated area disconnected from the City of Banning. Southern California Edison (SCE) led repairs to restore the water supply, including pipe replacement and slope stability improvements.

Michael Baker served as the stormwater and erosion and sediment control expert for the project. Staff were responsible for identifying potential sources of pollution and designing temporary Best Management Practices (BMPs), both structural and non-structural measures to prevent stormwater pollution from the site. Once the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) was in place, Michael Baker assisted SCE in the permitting process for coverage under the California Construction General Permit. After construction began, Michael Baker’s role shifted to field inspections, ensuring that the designed BMPs were in place and modified based on changing field conditions. Staff also provided contractor training, stormwater monitoring and sample collection, field reporting, and multi-agency regulatory coordination.

The San Gorgonio Mountains are associated with numerous safety hazards, including extreme weather – especially flash flooding – steep, rocky terrain, and potential encounters with wildlife, including bears, mountain lions, rattlesnakes and insects. Additionally, the project work areas included narrow, winding access roads in extremely remote areas with steep drops on one or both sides, as well as risks associated with heavy equipment, hazardous materials, helicopter activity and limited cell phone service. The team implemented safety measures including developing a detailed Health and Safety Plan (HASP); ensuring appropriate personal protective equipment; utilizing satellite texting communicators for projects areas without cell phone reception; providing a designated four-wheel drive fleet vehicle; providing training and education; implementing a system of continuous improvement; and conducting regular safety inspections, among others. This resulted in a safe and highly successful project. 



SEPTA Elwyn to Wawa Restoration Project

SEPTA Elwyn to Wawa Restoration Project

SEPTA Elwyn to Wawa Restoration Project

Santa Ana Construction Stormwater

Santa Ana Construction Stormwater

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