A number of Australia's busiest industries are continually challenged by the danger of having employees work from heights. While there is a range of technology and strict regulations designed to ensure this process is as safe is possible, accidents still happen.
From working on scaffolding at a construction site to inspecting mining machinery, falls from heights often result in TPD claims due to the severe injuries people can suffer as a result.
According to a Safe Work Australia report, 11 per cent of all workplace deaths are caused by falls from heights, indicating these events still pose a serious danger to the country's employees.
The risks involved in these practices were reflected by a recent incident in NSW where a man was lucky to survive.
Window cleaner faces substantial leg injuries
Australia's window cleaners are some of the most at-risk individuals when it comes to falls from heights due to the amount of time they spend working above the ground.
An incident that occurred in NSW just before the Christmas break highlighted the injuries people can suffer when things go wrong in this type of job and how it can leave them unable to return to work.
WorkCover NSW reported that a window cleaner recently fell four stories during his daily duties. Luckily, the man survived the incident, but unfortunately still suffered significant leg injuries in the fall.
At the time of the incident, the workers were cleaning a 12-storey high building, meaning they were lucky the incident occurred before they moved further up the structure.
According to WorkCover NSW, staff were correctly harnessed at the time of the event. However, a failure between the winch and the cradle of the apparatus they were standing on caused it to collapse.
SafeWork NSW Executive Director Peter Dunphy states this is a valuable lesson for any workers who regularly operate at heights.
"Operators should undertake regular inspections of building maintenance units and suspended scaffolds so that defects such as fatigue cracks are identified," he explained.
"They should also consider whether their current inspection and maintenance programs are adequate to prevent equipment failure in the future."
While the report did not cover the extent of the man's injuries, the nature of the incident means there is a possibility he may need to make a personal disability claim in the future.
If you're unable to return to work due to an injury, it's important to talk to a lawyer to ensure you're fairly compensated.