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 Post subject: Adotp A Trail Safety Guide - All Volunteers Please Read
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:36 pm 
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Location: Lancaster, CA.
As part of our volunteer program, the San Bernardino National Forest Volunteer program requires us to post the following safety guide.





January, 2010
Forest Supplement


The San Bernardino National Forest (SBNF) is committed to a quality volunteer and hosted program, with a special emphasis placed upon health and safety.

This document supplements the February 2009 ‘Volunteers in the Forest Service: A Coordinator’s Desk Guide’ and ‘Welcome to the Forest Service: A Guide for Volunteers’ found at the new national Youth, Volunteers and Hosted Programs intranet web page:

Previous versions of the Forest Volunteer Safety Program Desk Guide have been superseded by this new direction.


Ranger District and Group Volunteer Liaisons, with the support of their Line Officers, have the primary responsibility to administer the San Bernardino National Forest Volunteer Safety Program.

See the attached List of Forest Volunteer Staff in Appendix 3.

Forest supplements to the new national documents are:

* San Bernardino National Forest Safety Plan. Action Item 8 of this Forest Plan states:
o “Volunteers are the same as regular employees when it comes to safety. They need a safe work environment, proper training, proper equipment, and adequate supervision. There needs to be a written agreement with each volunteer group on the Forest on how to manage safety.”
* San Bernardino National Forest Volunteer Strategy and Principles, adopted in April 1997, states in “Commitment to Quality Programs” that “Volunteer training and safety will be recognized as a high priority.”
* Forest Service Manual 6704.8, San Bernardino National Forest Supplement 00-01, 4/1/00, the Forest Safety Committee will advise and assist the Forest Supervisor in developing safety and health program goals, objectives, and programs. A Volunteer Representative is included in the membership of the Forest Safety Committee.
* San Bernardino National Forest Vehicle Accident Reporting Guide – 2010.

Forest-specific safety training at volunteer orientation and follow-up training sessions should include but are not limited to:

* Hanta virus, “Personal Safety in Remote Work Locations” (three videos), hypothermia, hazard tree awareness, lightning, and safety for the job – trail maintenance, wildlife guzzler repair).
* Safety certification training, for Defensive Driving to use government vehicles, use of power tools (chainsaws), cross-cut saws, and blood borne pathogens.
* Training on the proper use of the Forest Service radio system, preferably by Forest Radio Shop and/or Federal Interagency Communication Center (FICC) staff so that volunteers may be kept current and knowledgeable. Volunteer may not be issued or use a Forest Service radio without this training.
* Forest tailgate safety meetings for project work. These meetings shall be documented on the Tailgate Safety Meeting Form located on the Forest intranet web page - Safety Page - and filed properly. A Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) will be developed and used by Forest Service District and Group Volunteer Liaisons for all major tasks to be accomplished by volunteers, just as for regular Forest Service employees. Volunteers will review and sign the JHA’s and receive a copy for their use. The Volunteer must sign their specific project JHA before performing any volunteer work. Contact the Forest Safety Officer for guidance in developing a new Job Hazard Analysis. JHAs must be reviewed and signed each year by a Line Officer and the employee working under the JHA.
* Driver training is a key Forest safety concern. In general, few volunteers should be designated for government vehicle operation. If designated, the responsibility must be included in the Description of Work to be Performed block of the Volunteer Agreement. Designated drivers must follow the guidance contained in the Forest letter issued 2/27/01, attached as Appendix 2. A Job Hazard Analysis is required for driving while serving as a Forest Volunteer.
* No San Bernardino National Forest volunteers will have direct responsibility for Law Enforcement or Firefighting duties. Volunteers may, however, attend Forest Protection Officer (FPO) training as an overall benefit to the general public contact work they may do. They may also receive firefighting training incidental to their volunteer duties, and then sign up as Emergency Firefighters (EFF) on an AD rate for local incidents.

All accidents or injuries are to be reported to the Forest Dispatch, the Forest Volunteer Coordinator, Forest Safety Officer, and the District Customer Service Representative immediately. See Appendix 1, Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 6709.12, SBNF Supplement No. 3, 6/1/99 for those accident, injury, or illness handling and reporting procedures.


Appendix 1 Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 6709.12 – Safety and Health Program
Handbook, SBNF Supplement No. 3, Accident Reporting

Appendix 2 Driver Orientation, Authorization, and I.D for New Employees – Letter of 2/27/01

Appendix 3 List of Forest Volunteer Staff

Appendix 4 San Bernardino National Forest Vehicle Accident Reporting Guide - 2010

Appendix 1


San Bernardino, California



Effective June 1, 1999 (Updated 6/04)


1. Reporting/Investigating Injuries to Employees:

a. Notify supervisor of the injured employee immediately.

b. When an accident injury occurs, the supervisor of the individual involved is required to promptly complete the initial notification titled, “Accident Initial Notification”, and submit it to the appropriate District Ranger or Program Director and the Forest Safety Officer.

c. If medical services are needed, the employee or their supervisor should request authorization for medical care (CA-16 and Billing Form HCFA-1500, or Agency Provided Medical Care authorization). If employee is unable to notify the immediate supervisor because of severity of the injury, any witness should notify the work supervisor or District/Unit responsible for the employee and authorization for medical care can be given.

d. In cases involving serious injury or death, the District Ranger or Program Director should immediately contact the Forest Safety Officer, Forest Supervisor or Forest Personnel Officer who will then notify the Regional Office.

e. For a serious injury not requiring hospitalization, the Forest will assign the Forest Safety Officer, an investigator or investigation team, depending on the situation.

For a death or serious injury involving hospitalization, the Forest Safety Officer, a Forest investigator, or Law Enforcement Officer will be assigned to protect the scene and start an investigation. In this situation, however, the Regional Office is responsible for the investigation.

All investigations need to be completed and submitted in a timely manner. See FSH 6709.12 section 35 for investigation procedures.

f. Upon completion of the CA-1 by the employee and employee’s supervisor, submit completed form to the District OWCP coordinator or Personnel Office (for S.O. personnel) within 2 working days after the injury.

g. District OWCP Coordinator or Personnel Office is to submit initial paperwork (CA-1, CA-16, HCFA-1500, DR’s 1st report, any receipts, etc.) directly to OWCP with a copy to the Personnel Office. Any further information should be sent to Personnel for transmittal to OWCP.

h. The work supervisor will write a brief account of any traumatic injuries, which involve a visit to a doctor (agency provided medical care or OWCP), and any corrective action taken or proposed. (Poison and bee stings cases are exempt.) NOTE: Any disciplinary type corrective action proposed, including formal and informal warnings, must be reviewed by an employee relation’s specialist prior to taking the action. This is to be forwarded to the Forest Supervisor within two weeks of the injury under a cover memo with comments on the situation by the appropriate District Ranger or Program Director. This package will be reviewed by the Forest Safety Officer, the Deputy Forest Supervisor, and if appropriate, an Employee Relations Specialist.

2. Reporting Process for Motor Vehicle Accidents

a. Upon report of a vehicle accident involving a Forest Service vehicle, the Federal Interagency Communications Center (FICC) is to be notified. FICC will arrange for an accident investigator, and will notify the Forest Safety Officer and the affected District Ranger or Program Director. The investigator is responsible to the affected District Ranger or Program Director, and the Forest Safety Officer.

b. The driver (or the first individual on the scene if the driver is incapacitated) is responsible for protecting any evidence, identifying and talking with witnesses, and initiating an investigation.

c. FICC should advise the Forest Safety Officer of the incident and the name of the assigned investigator.

d. The supervisor of the individual involved is required to promptly complete the initial report titled “Accident Initial Notification”, and submit it to the District Ranger or Program Director and Forest Safety Officer.

e. The investigator will provide an original and two copies of the accident report to the District Ranger or Program Director, and Forest Safety Officer within two weeks of the incident. (If a private individual or vehicle is involved with a potential claim, additional copies need to be sent directly to the Claims Examiner. The SNBF Claims Handbook and the Forest Service Accident Investigation Guide should guide the investigator.) All original witness statements, interview tapes, negatives, etc., are to be retained by the investigator.

f. The work supervisor and District Ranger or Program Director are to consult with an employee relations specialist on all potential disciplinary situations, in a timely manner, and before any proposed discipline is initiated, including formal or informal counseling.

g. The accident report, along with completed SF-91 and AD-112 forms, are to be submitted to the Forest Safety Officer within two weeks of the incident, under a cover memo with comments on the incident and corrective action by the District Ranger or Program Director.

h. The Forest Engineer, Deputy Forest Supervisor and Forest Safety Officer will review the report. Others may be involved, if appropriate. Comments from the review are to be forwarded to the appropriate District Ranger or Program Director, particularly with respect to AD-112 and employee relations.

3. Management Review: A comprehensive, in-depth analysis will be conducted on at least two vehicle accidents, and two significant personal injury accidents each Safety Year (July 1 thru June 30). The purpose is to evaluate the (1) completeness of the investigation, (2) identification of causal agents, and (3) completeness of the report. The reviews are expected to be helpful in determining the adequacy of policy and procedures, accountability, and quality of supervision. The Forest Board of Line Officers will determine the accidents to be reviewed and the makeup of the review teams.

4. Accident Initial Notification: Exhibit A below shows the format for the Accident Initial Notification. One is to be prepared by the immediate supervisor and forwarded to the appropriate District Ranger or Program Director, and Forest Safety Officer, as soon as possible after the accident.

Exhibit A

Accident Initial Notification

In the event of an Emergency

Call 911

or San Bernardino N. F. Dispatch (FICC) 909-383-5654 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 909-383-5654 end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 909-383-5654 end_of_the_skype_highlighting (or by Radio)


NATURE OF INJURY________________________________

LOCATION OF PATIENT_____________________________

POINT OF PICKUP___________________________________

LAT ____________ LONG ____________

PATIENT UNIT ID_____________________________



SEX: MALE_____ FEMALE_____

Is a vehicle involved Yes_____ No_____

ALL EMERGENCIES---Secure the area and identify witnesses for later investigation. Keep an accurate log of events.

Appendix 2

File Code:


February 27, 2001

Route To:

Driver Orientation, Authorization and I.D. For New Employees


This letter provides direction for implementation of the Regional Policy requirements for Forest Service driver/operator’s to obtain an OF-346, U.S. Government Motor Vehicle Operator’s ID card.

This policy affects all Forest Service employees as well as all volunteers, SCSEP employees and/or any other individuals who would have reason to drive Government-owned or-leased vehicles and equipment.

It is the supervisor’s responsibility to ensure their employees obtains an OF 346 if they will be operating vehicles and/or equipment. The basic procedure is outlined below.

Initial Forest Service Employment (all employees)

• The new “FS” employee and their Supervisor must fill out the required forms (OF-346 Application Package) then contact one of the appropriate Driver Examiners on the enclosed list and send him/her your packet. This packet may be obtained from your Forest Driver/Operator Program Manager or Forest personnel office.

• In addition, it will be the responsibility of the new employee to provide a current copy of their Department of Motor Vehicle records check and submit it along with their completed OF-346 Application Package. This record can be obtained at your local DMV office for a nominal fee. The DMV record will provide documented driving history.

• The Driver Examiner will review all forms. If the employee has an acceptable driving record, they will be scheduled for the Driver Orientation Course, which includes a Basic Test (Standard and All Wheel Drive Basic Test for vehicles less then 15,001 GVWR). All new applicants must take this test.

• Additional training and testing is required to operate vehicles greater then 15,000 GVWR and all other Specialized Equipment.

When all the above has been completed and passed, the employee will be issued an OF-346. This document must be carried at all times in addition to their valid State Drivers License when operating any vehicle or piece of Government-owned or leased equipment on Government business.

Current Forest Service Employees who DO NOT possess a current OF-346

If the employee has not had verbal authorization to operate a Government vehicle, use the same procedures as outlined for “Initial Forest Service Employment”.

If the employee has had verbal authorization to operate Government vehicles, use the same procedure as for “Initial Forest Service Employment” with the following exceptions:

• The Operating Skills Test (Road Test) required on the Supervisor’s Assessment of Driving Skills will be waived for all permanent employees who have been satisfactorily operating Government vehicles, have no moving violations, and no accidents in a private or Government vehicle in the last three years.

• These employees will only be authorized to operate vehicles and equipment they have current hands-on experience with. No employee is to be authorized to operate specialized equipment they have not operated in the previous four years without completing the training and testing requirements as outlined for new operators to insure knowledge and skill levels are up to date.

Permanent Status Employees Transferring to the FS from Other Agencies

Follow procedures as outlined for “Initial Forest Service Employment”.

Seasonal Employees Returning After Leave Without Pay

Since the individual has remained under the employment of the FS, they are obligated to notify their supervisor of any changes to their driving record. Therefore, no additional action is required, although requesting a new DMV check through the Program Managers authority is suggested.

Employee Rehired after a Termination

If the driver folder and OF-346 are still on file with the Forest, the employee need only supply a current DMV record. This will verify driving history while the individual was not employed by the FS. Upon satisfactory review of this record the OF-346 can be returned to the employee at the Supervisor’s discretion.

If the driver folder and OF-346 are no longer available, follow procedures as outlined for “Initial Forest Service Employment”.

Additional information relevant to all driver/operator records includes;

• The expiration date on the OF-346 will be “INDEFINITE”, however, all employees are required to attend a refresher “Defensive Driving” course every three years. In addition, first-line supervisor’s are required to review their employees driving history every four years, and in the case of employees with commercial drivers licenses, every year, to insure the employee still has a valid state license and that they are still medically able to operate with undue risk to themselves or others.

The Forest Driver/Operator Program Manager will set up a system to remind employees and supervisor of these requirements.

For further information, contact Forest Driver/Operator Program Manager, Gayle Nollau, at 909-382-2962.

Forest Supervisor

Appendix 3
Forest Service Volunteer Staff

(All phone numbers are Area Code 909 and Prefix 382)

Forest Volunteer Coordinator Fran Colwell - Supervisor’s Office x2715
Forest Safety Officer Dan Snow - Supervisor’s Office x2633

Ranger District Volunteer Coordinators
Front Country Melinda Lyon, District Recreation Officer x2929
Mountaintop Paul Bennett, District Recreation Officer x2819
San Jacinto John Ladley, District Recreation Officer x2934

Forest Service Group Volunteer Liaisons

Supervisor’s Office
Pacific Crest Trail Association Fran Colwell x2715
Fire Education Volunteers Dan Snow x2633
Fire Lookout Hosts Tom Sensintaffar x2749
Fisheries Resource Volunteer Corps Angelica Mendoza x2692
Front Country
San Gorgonio Wilderness Association Alfredo Zarate x2900
Front Country Recreation Volunteers Jack Kennedy x4059

Adopt-a-Trail/OHV Hosts Greg Hoffman x2811
Big Bear Discovery Center Paul Bennett x2819
Children’s Forest Volunteers Paul Bennett x2819
Mountain Recreation Volunteers Call Front Desk x2782
Rim of the World Interpretive Association Paul Bennett x2819

San Jacinto
Forest Service Volunteer Association Andy Smith x2921

Take the road less traveled.

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