Making a Claim for Industrial Deafness

Making a Claim for Industrial Deafness

Benjamin Garfield
By Benjamin Garfield
contributor

February 2, 2021


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  • Are you regularly exposed to loud noise in your workplace? Then you are at risk of developing industrial deafness—the most common injury suffered by Australian workers. In fact, more than a million employees in Australia are exposed every day to high levels of noise in the workplace, so high as to result in permanent hearing impairment!

    You don’t want that to happen to you, of course. But if you believe that you are already starting to suffer from gradual hearing loss due to regular exposure to noise at work, which is almost certainly inevitable by the way, it is best to know where you stand when it comes to litigation. Do you have a claim from your employer when this happens to you? What type of compensation can you expect?

    Don’t wait until you can no longer hear and communicate effectively due to deafness before you know your rights as an employee. In this article, you will discover how you can claim for industrial deafness compensation when you suffer from this condition as a result of your work. But before that, let’s define what industrial deafness is. Turner Freeman Lawyers take us through this process.

    What is industrial deafness?

    Industrial deafness is a general term used to describe a serious injury resulting from hearing excessive noise in the workplace. In some cases, this condition comes as a result of another pre-existing condition that was only made worse by the nature of your work. Regardless of its cause, industrial deafness is a condition no one wants to suffer from–even you. Can you imagine yourself having troubles hearing and not being able to communicate with your loved ones effectively? This condition can impact your life so tremendously it can alter the course of your life!

    If you are working in the areas of construction, industrial or manufacturing, you are at most risk of developing industrial deafness down the road—especially if you regularly work with heavy machinery or anywhere near it. Have you experienced hearing a bulldozer at least once in your life? It’s so ear-piercing you had to cover your ears, right? So just imagine being exposed to such types of noise in your place of work every single day. These types of work can cause permanent hearing, and once it is there, there is no cure.

    How do you make an industrial deafness claim?

    The first thing you need to do once you realize you are already suffering from hearing loss is to establish the fact that your condition was a result of your work. Before you can make any claim from your employer, consult with an industrial deafness lawyer to discuss your situation. This is because every compensation claim will usually have a unique set of circumstances, from the cause of the hearing loss to the level of suffering of the employee. Your lawyer will then gather information and get in touch with your employer or those who may be responsible for your hearing loss, just to see if they acknowledge their accountability.

    Once your employer accepts his responsibility, your lawyer will try to obtain interim compensation payments for you. Your employer will have to be able to compensate you before the settlement of your claim.

    But how much claims do you have?

    Industrial deafness compensation

    Well, the most common compensation for industrial deafness is medical treatment coverage, but it can be more than that. You can expect your injury compensation claim to be significantly higher if you are suffering from total hearing loss in both ears than if you are only suffering from a partial hearing loss in one ear. How much you can claim will largely depend on your circumstances, including the following:

    • How serious is your condition?
    • Does your workplace have to do with your condition?
    • Did your employer follow the proper procedures to protect you?
    • Did you have to pay for any medical or travel expenses?
    • What type of care and support do you need now and will need in the future?

    The key here is to establish that there was negligence on the part of your employer. That way, you can rest assured that you have a claim from your employer and that you will receive the compensation that is due to you.

    When should you make an industrial hearing loss claim?

    As with other injury claims, there is a time limit within which you can file for your industrial deafness claim. If you believe that you are entitled to compensation, consult with an industrial deafness lawyer right away to maximize your chances of filing a successful claim. Time is of the essence here, so do not wait for years before you move. You usually need to make your claim within three years of being diagnosed with hearing loss and establishing that it’s due to your work, so move now before it’s too late.

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