Exposure to occupational noise can result in a permanent reduction in hearing, which is usually irreversible. Common examples of occupational noise include a landscaper’s exposure to lawnmowers, a process worker’s exposure to the sound of machinery and a construction worker’s exposure to the sound of a jackhammer.
Hearing loss can have a huge impact on a person’s life. People suffering from occupational hearing loss often have difficulty hearing when there is a lot of background noise. This can make it difficult to hear conversations in a crowd, or even hear the television when the sound is turned up high. Many also suffer from tinnitus, which causes a high-pitch ringing in the ears.
Occupational noise is defined as noise which is at or above 85 decibels from sources such as lawnmowers, jackhammers, chainsaws, power tools, etc.
There is a government scheme in place for workers who have suffered occupational hearing loss, which allows access to compensation. Workers may be eligible for hearing aids and other medical expenses as well as lump-sum compensation for their hearing loss.
To assess your entitlement to compensation, you must undergo a hearing test to measure your level of hearing loss. We are able to arrange a hearing test on your behalf and then provide you with advice in relation to your potential entitlements.
If you have a viable compensation claim, Gordon Legal will assist you from beginning to end.
We will lodge a claim on your behalf on the appropriate employer and their WorkCover insurer.
Once lodged, the WorkCover insurer is required to provide a response to your compensation claim within 120 days.
During this time, the WorkCover insurer will arrange a medical examination for you to attend with an ear, nose and throat specialist who will assess your level of permanent hearing loss and provide a medical report.
The WorkCover insurer will then provide a response to your compensation claim and advise as to whether your claim for hearing loss has been approved or denied, or if further information is required.
The amount of compensation you are entitled to is determined by your level of hearing loss and your deemed date of your injury.
If you are not currently employed, your deemed date of injury is the last day on which you performed duties and were exposed to noise at work.
If you are currently employed and exposed to noise at work, your deemed date of injury is the date on which your claim was lodged.
There is no time limit for making a hearing loss claim, but it is a good idea to get advice in relation to a potential claim as soon as possible.
Hearing loss injuries can occur over a long period of time, throughout which it is likely that workers have worked for multiple employers. The law does not require a worker to lodge claims against multiple employers. Instead, a worker is required to lodge their hearing loss claim against the last employer who exposed them to occupational noise.
If you have suffered a significant additional loss of hearing, in some circumstances, a further claim can be lodged for additional loss of hearing.
To assess your entitlement to further compensation, you must undergo a hearing test to measure your current level of hearing loss. We are able to arrange a hearing test on your behalf and then provide you with advice in relation to your potential entitlements.
Only hearing loss sustained in Victoria is compensable in a Victorian hearing loss claim.
At Gordon Legal, we understand that hearing loss is a personal issue.
For personalised and individual advice, we offer consultations to discuss your matter.
Please call Gordon Legal on (03) 9603 3000 or our Geelong office on (03) 5225 1600 to speak with a member of our team.
Given the current environment, we are providing consultations over the phone or via video conferencing platforms.