*The contents in this blog relates to legislation in Western Australia.

If you commence employment in a prescribed noisy workplace your employer must submit you to an initial audiometric test as soon as practicable or within 12 months of commencing employment.

However, there are many instances where the required initial audiometric test or also known as a baseline hearing assessment, is not completed when commencing in a prescribed noisy workplace. This can cause difficulties when determining a workers degree of hearing loss due to workplace noise exposure.

If you are a worker who has not undergone a hearing assessment upon commencing employment in a noisy workplace however, have recorded a 10% loss of hearing or more you may be able to further investigate a noise induced hearing loss claim through a late baseline assessment.

A late baseline assessment recognises workers who after undergoing their first hearing assessment record a loss of 10% or more yet have worked in a noisy workplace prior to the assessment.

When following a late baseline claim a worker is required to undergo a subsequent full audiological hearing assessment and if still recording 10% loss or more after this assessment, a review with an Ear Nose and Throat specialist. The purpose of an Ear Nose and Throat review is to determine a workers percentage of hearing loss due to noise exposure in the workplace and exclude any other possible causes, for example age related loss or infection. An Ear Nose and Throat specialist will consider a workers full employment history within a noisy work environment when calculating the percentage loss of hearing.

It is important that a worker undergoes the required audiometric testing when commencing employment in a prescribed noise workplace to ensure their workers’ compensation entitlements are not compromised.

If you believe you work in a noisy workplace contact Turner Freeman Lawyers for an obligation free discussion. One of our solicitors will be able to assist you in determining if you should pursue investigations into a workers’ compensation claim for noise induced hearing loss.