Phase Congestion Prevention

What are Phases?

Logging and road building activities are done in sequential phases. i.e. falling, yarding/skidding, processing, loading & hauling.

What is Phase Integration?

"Phase integration" means a situation where different phases are organized to operate simultaneously in a worksite as a single "integrated" phase. Phase integration, while creating efficiencies, increases the complexity of the worksite and requires extra planning and awareness to ensure safety is maintained and desired efficiencies are actually achieved.

What is Phase Congestion?

When phases are unsuccessfully or poorly integrated, phase congestion can occur resulting in the conflicting demands of the different phases having a negative impact on operations. These negative impacts can create and increase both operational and safety risks.

“Phase congestion,” in this context, means any situation where different logging phases which are integrated together and operating simultaneously in a worksite, become bunched up, overcrowded or jammed (aka congested) in a manner which compromises the safe and efficient operation of the work being performed.

What is Stacking?

Stacking describes a scenario where phases are physically stacked on a slope. Stacking could refer to phases which are integrated, or phases which are not integrated. Stacking could even refer to to the same phase where work is being performed in two locations on the same slope. Stacking creates significant safety hazards and phase planning should strive to prevent any kind of stacking which creates safety risks.

BCFSC, Coast Harvest Advisory Group (CHAG), Falling Technical Advisory Committee (FTAC) and industry experts have collaboratively developed training, resource materials and competency assessments to help you manage worksite planning and reduce the risks of Phase Congestion. 

Phase Congestion Training

Free interactive online training is available to help supervisors and workers better understand how to safely integrate phases and prevent phase congestion.

This training provides realistic logging scenarios and was developed with the input of industry experts from the Coast Harvest Advisory Group (CHAG) and the Falling Technical Advisory Committee (FTAC).

Learn more about Phase Congestion Training.

Tools and Awareness

CHAG identified phase congestion as a priority in 2013. With it's leadership and support, working groups analyzed and identified the root causes of phase congestion and how best to manage it. 

CHAG produced resource materials to help prevent Phase Congestion on worksites to help prime contractors, licensees, contractors and supervisors identify Phase Congestion and how to manage it if it occurs.

Phase Congestion Awareness Resources

Site Safety Planning and Hazard Assessment

The Phase Congestion Hazard Assessment is intended to supplement existing Site Safety Plans.

Due to the variety of situations and possible factors that could contribute to phase congestion, the form has been developed to provide the person creating the Site Safety Plan with a structured template that will enable them to clearly identify possible factors and implement site specific solutions to address them.

Phase Congestion Hazard Assessment Resources


SAFE Companies Audits & Auditors

SAFE Companies audits and training have beend modified to better address Phase Congestion and related issues. SAFE companies are now audited for Phase Congestion and auditors must receive training to assess the issue.  

SAFE Companies audited for Phase Congestion and Auditor Training that includes Phase Congestion are:

  • The BASE audit standard references Phase Congestion - specifically Stacking
  • Verification audits review Phase Congestion for ISEBase and SEBASE companies.
  • SAFE Companies Auditor Training covers Phase Congestion

Ombudsman's Review

As a follow-up to industry's efforts, BCFSC made of request to the BC Forest Safety Ombudsman to conduct an independent review of the state of Phase Congestion in BC's forestry industry.

Read the 2018 Ombudsman Phase Integration Report and CHAG's open letter response.