Did you previously work in a loud workplace? Are you unsure whether you can still make a claim for hearing loss which may have been caused by loud noise at work many years ago?

Well you can. Whilst you may no longer work in a noisy environment, you are still able to make a claim.

Generally, a worker must lodge a claim within 6 months of injury. However, special provisions apply to hearing loss injuries which occur over a gradual process and mean workers can still make claims many years after they stopped working.

The test is when the worker first became aware of their injury and injury is different to knowing you had a hearing loss, it is knowing you had a hearing loss caused by your employment.

A worker cannot be said to be properly aware of their hearing loss injury until the injury is first confirmed by a medical specialist. The Court of Appeal decision in Unilever Australia Ltd v Petrevska,[1] confirms that awareness of such an injury does not eventuate until a specialist provides an opinion confirming the loss is due to loud noise exposure at work. Thus, unless you have conferred with an ear, nose and throat specialist who has confirmed this to you, and you have then obtained legal advice with respect to your rights and entitlements for that injury and 6 months has passed, you will not be considered out of time in pursuing an industrial deafness claim.

If you would like to obtain a free hearing test to see if you have a claim, please contact us on 13 43 63 so we may assist you in claiming your rights and entitlements.

If you have already lodged a claim for industrial deafness and an insurer has disputed your claim on the basis of it being out of time, or on any other grounds, please contact us for free advice.

[1] [2013] NSW CA 373.