Fall Safety - it's importance was stressed to members of the Carbon Builders Association recently by Joseph Thomas, safety officer/trainer of J. Thomas Safety First LLC.

Thomas discussed Fall Protection Training for the residential construction industry. The seminar was held Tuesday at Carbon Builders Association headquarters, 490 Ore St., second floor, Bowmanstown.

The seminar explains OSHA's requirement for residential contractors to have a written plan and have it in place by Dec. 15, 2012, for any residential contractors who work at heights of six feet or above.

Thomas explained that is important for residential contractors to have all employees trained and have the training documented that they have been trained.

He explained that this training will help contractors comply with the Fall Protection Standard to protect workers and have them ready when OSHA visits.

The seminar trained workers on ladders and stairways, aerial lifts, scissor lifts, pump jack staging, scaffolding, job hazard assessment, floor and wall openings, elevated levels, harnesses, fall arrest systems, safety nets and more. Those attending the seminar received a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the training.

During the seminar, employees saw the type of equipment that is needed to comply with the standard and where the equipment can be found.

The training took approximately four hours and provided training on ladder safety, scaffold safety and a general overlay of OSHA's general fall protection requirements.

"There are many misconceptions about fall protection," said Thomas.

Thomas said that the law has changed and residential contractors who do not comply with the training requirements could face a hefty fine.

Deb Kleckner, said that Carbon Builders Association offered the training at a cost that is so much less than is being offered anywhere else in the state.

"We are able to keep the cost lower because we have Thomas, who is a member who is qualified to teach the course.

Thomas noted that he is a certified trainer.

"You have a duty to your employees to have the training presented," said Thomas. "We are trying to provide this service at a greatly reduced cost to residential contractors who are members of the Association."

Thomas said that the training helps reduce work-related accidents.

"The training is mandatory," he said. "You have a duty to have your employees trained in fall protection and we are here to help you educate them."

Kleckner said that there will be additional seminars scheduled. For additional information, contact Kleckner at (610) 379-1099 or email carbbld@ptd.net. Member of the Carbon Builders Association pay a reduced fee.