WorkSafeBC Forestry High Risk Strategy to Include Focus on Phase Congestion

WorkSafeBC has announced that its 2019 high-risk strategy for forestry will include an additional focus on phase congestion, which can lead to unsafe conditions when harvesting activities overlap. Phase congestion is an industry-wide problem and has resulted in serious injuries and fatalities.

Forestry operators often have to carry out multiple harvesting phases within a single operating area — phase integration — with many contractors working at the same time. Without proper planning, these areas can become overcrowded or jammed, leading to phase congestion.

“Poor planning and scheduling, as well as inadequate communication among workers, employers and contractors, are often contributing factors in these incidents,” said Dan Strand, Director of Prevention Field Services with WorkSafeBC. “During inspections of forestry operations, officers will be ensuring that employers understand the real risks that can result from phase congestion.”

To help identify and assess those risks, officers have developed a simple questionnaire they will use during inspections. After testing this tool and gathering input from workers and supervisors, WorkSafeBC will make it directly available to employers.