Work health and safety failings could lead to TPD claim

Date: Feb 20, 2017

Claims for total and permanent disability (TPD) can provide a significant financial safety net for people who are unable to return to work following an accident, whether the incident occurred while on the job or elsewhere.

A recent case heard before New South Wales District Court highlights one type of situation where a TPD claim could arise, although on this particular occasion it is not clear if the victim made an injury compensation claim.

SafeWork NSW prosecuted a roof tiling company, the defendant, for work health and safety failings that resulted in an employee sustaining serious injuries.

The company was tasked with installing roof tiles on a residential duplex, and carpenters had built a wooden roof frame and an awning over a balcony as part of the project.

Temporary wooden props were used to support the awning frame until a time when brick columns could be built at the front of the balcony.

How the accident occurred

While the props were able to handle the weight of the awning, they were not designed to support the roof tilers and their equipment.

A site manager asked for two more props to be fitted before tiling could commence, but only one of these was actually installed. The site manager was aware that the second prop was missing, but tiling work began anyway.

During pointing work, the victim fell two storeys to the ground after the roof gave way underneath him. Two other tilers also fell through, but they escaped without injury after landing on the first-floor balcony.

However, their colleague suffered fractures to the left radial head, which is just below the elbow, as well as fractures of the radial neck and multiple closed fractures to the pelvis. He has not returned to work, despite the accident occurring in 2014.

TPD claim eligibility

The tiling firm was fined $120,000 for work health and safety breaches, but the victim could potentially receive compensation for his injuries through a public liability or TPD claim.

If he is unable to ever return to work, he could win a lump sum payment to cover a range of expenses, including loss of income and superannuation, ongoing medical costs and any required home modifications.

Getting in touch with an experienced TPD lawyer can help you pursue compensation for disabilities that you suffer following an accident. Please contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers for more information.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.