FWS Forklift Operators 3-Year Evaluation (FAQs and Requirements)

321 FW 1
Amended By
Amended by Decision Memorandum, “Approval of Revisions to ~350 Directives to Remove Gender-Specific Pronouns,” 6/22/2022
Originating Office
Safety Operations

FAQs and Requirements on the Evaluation

1. What are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) requirements for forklift operators? The Service requires all heavy equipment operators (including forklift operators) to complete the Web-based FWS Heavy Equipment Safety Refresher Online Training (OLT) course every 3 years after completing the initial FWS Forklift Safety Training Course.

2. What are the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Service requirements for forklift refresher training? Forklift refresher training is required by OSHA and the Service when:

     •   The operator has been observed operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner;

     •   The operator has been involved in an accident or near-miss incident;

     •   The operator has received an evaluation that reveals that the operator is not operating the forklift safely;

     •   The operator is assigned to drive a different type of forklift; or

     •   A condition in the workplace changes in a manner that could affect safe operation of the forklift.

Only the following trainers may provide forklift refresher training for each class of forklift:

     •   A qualified Service Heavy Equipment Safety Instructor, or

     •   An authorized vendor approved by the Regional Heavy Equipment Coordinator and Regional Safety Manager.

3. What are the OSHA and Service requirements for a forklift operator evaluation? OSHA and the Service require that a forklift operator’s performance be evaluated every 3 years.

Any of the following people can conduct the evaluation:

     •   Service Heavy Equipment Safety Instructor;

     •   The forklift operator’s supervisor if the supervisor has:

     -   Completed the initial Forklift Safety Training Course,

     -   Is current with forklift refresher training, and

     -   Completed the online Forklift Safety Training Course and read the forklift’s operator manual; or

     •   An experienced Service forklift operator preferably from another station.

4. What form is required to document the forklift operator evaluation? The evaluator must use the Forklift Operator 3-Year Evaluation Form, FWS Form 3-2479, to annotate the evaluation. As part of the form, we provide “Evaluator Tips” with greater detail about each evaluation topic.

5. After completing the evaluation, what is the next step? After completing FWS Form 3-2479 and ensuring it’s been signed and dated appropriately, a copy is inserted in the forklift operator’s station training file, and a copy is sent to the Regional Heavy Equipment Coordinator for inclusion in the learning management system (i.e., DOI Learn).

6. Where can I find additional information?

     •   Service policy

     -   321 FW 1: Authorization, Training, and Safety Requirements, and

     -   Heavy Equipment and Off-Road Utility Vehicle Safety Training Handbook

     •   OSHA

     -   Forklift Refresher: 29 CFR 1910.178(I)(4)

     -   Forklift Operator Evaluation: 29 CFR 1910.178 (I)(4)(iii)