*The contents in this blog relates to legislation in Western Australia.
Exposure to hazardous noise is a common cause of hearing loss in adults.
If you are employed within a noisy workplace it is likely you will suffer from a degree of hearing loss.
Some of these workplaces and employments include the emergency services such as firefighters, factory workers, quarry or mining workers and a variety of trades which use power tools or work on construction sites for example carpenters, electricians or boilermakers.
If employed within a noisy workplace a worker may suffer from noise induced hearing loss. This form of hearing loss develops on a gradual basis due to constant exposure to loud noises. If you work within a noisy workplace and have noticed a deterioration in your hearing it is recommended you pursue investigations into a Schedule 7 claim for noise induced hearing loss under the Workers’ Compensation and Injury management Act 1981. A noise induced hearing loss claim is still considered to be a workers’ compensation claim however, the procedures followed to investigate and pursue a claim are significantly different to that of a traditional workers’ compensation claim. For example a worker is not required to obtain a First Medical Certificate or lodge a Form 2B (workers’ compensation claim form) with their employer.
Hearing loss within the workplace can also occur due an incident such as an explosion or head trauma. When sudden hearing loss occurs due to an incident within the workplace a traditional workers’ compensation claim process must be followed. After the injury occurs the worker must report it to their employer as soon as possible. The worker must then attend their general practitioner in order to obtain a First Medical Certificate which will address their injury and determine if they are fit to return to work. When attending the general practitioner it is important to provide a full recount into how the incident and hearing loss occurred. Should a worker then wish to commence a workers’ compensation claim, the First Medical Certificate along with a completed Form 2B is submitted to the employer.
It is important to note that in Western Australia strict time limits apply when commencing a claim for noise induced hearing loss or workers’ compensation.
If you have suffered hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to noise within your workplace or as a result of an incident within your workplace contact Turner Freeman Lawyers for an obligation free discussion. One of our solicitors will be able to assist you in determining which type of claim is best for you.