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Hearing Loss Claims
Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) caused during your employment may entitle you to receive financial compensation as stipulated by the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 (WA) (Act). All employers in WA are required by law to have a valid and current workers’ compensation insurance policy covering all employees for injuries or illness sustained at work. A & E Legal can assist.
Our experienced solicitors will engage on your behalf and assist you with lodging a claim with your employer (and its insurer) for the compensation that you deserve resulting from your personal injury, which should ultimately resolve by settlement or progression to a Conciliation or Arbitration at WorkCover WA.
Can I Claim?
Anyone who is defined as a worker pursuant to the Act has a claim for workers’ compensation entitlements. The Act defines a “worker” in section 5 as a worker who has not attained the age of 65 and is:
- on commission;
- a contractor and sub-contractor (with exceptions); and
- a working director (with exceptions).
What can I claim?
You may be entitled to claim a lump sum payment (Schedule 2 payment) from the employer or its insurer if testing determines that you have a loss of hearing of 10% or more since your baseline hearing test. No other entitlements are claimable.
What is a baseline hearing test?
If your work environment is a prescribed noisy workplace, you must have a baseline hearing test within 12 months of starting your employment with the employer. A baseline hearing test is an audiometric test that establishes your baseline so as to compare any further tests done to your hearing i.e. it is a benchmark or frame of reference test. All future tests are compared to this test to determine the percentage of hearing loss experienced by you and determines the amount of compensation.
Who pays for the baseline hearing test?
It is your employers responsibility to arrange and pay for the baseline hearing test and any further subsequent hearing tests required.
What is a “noisy” workplace?
If you receive, or are likely to receive, a personal noise dose of 90dB(A) or above during any 8 hour shift in a typical work environment, the workplace will be categorized as a noisy workplace.
When do I have to have a further hearing test?
It stands to reason that if you feel that you are suffering from hearing loss, you may request your employer in writing to send you for a hearing test. This must be done with an approved tester. Further tests may be done at the discretion of your employer on an annual basis.
When and how should I lodge a claim?
The testers send all tests results to WorkCover WA who will keep and monitor them. You will be provided with a copy of all tests. If your last test shows a loss of 10% or more from the baseline test, you:
- will be notified by WorkCover WA of that fact;
- WorkCover WA will arrange for further testing with an audiologist and an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist (ENT);
- if the ENT confirms the 10% loss, WorkCover will send you a Claim Form;
- you must complete the Claim Form and return it to WorkCover WA;
- WorkCover WA will then send the Claim Form to the employer who in turn sends it to its insurer;
- you can then elect if you wish to lodge a claim with WorkCover WA.
How long will it take and how much does it cost?
We will attempt to get through the claim procedure as quickly as possible by seeking the relevant expert medical advice from your doctors to ensure that your claim is settled at the right time. We will answer all your questions about legal costs at the first free consultation with you.
Is the first consultation free?
The first consultation is free with no obligation on your part to proceed.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.