Prior hearing loss due to interstate employment

The Agent is responsible for determining what, if any, hearing loss occurred where there is no liability to pay compensation under the legislation (for example during interstate employment) see Hearing loss claims policy.

See: Stojcevski v Nisselle & Ors

Establish employment history

To determine if any proportion of hearing loss occurred in non-compensable circumstances (a full detailed history of a worker’s employment is required. This information can be obtained from the:

  • Worker’s Claim for Impairment Benefits form
  • worker or worker’s solicitors
  • worker’s resume (if current employer has a copy).

If there is no identifiable employment history which indicates that hearing loss may have occurred interstate an in-depth review of the worker’s previous employment is not required.

Questions to ask to determine liability

To establish what, if any, hearing loss occurred as a result of interstate employment the Agent should try to obtain the following information in relation to that employment:

  • the worker’s previous occupation with any interstate employer
  • the duties the worker performed taking into consideration any noisy employment duties
  • time worked at previous interstate employment
  • documentation from any interstate insurer confirming prior industrial hearing loss caused by interstate employment
  • documentation from any interstate employer which confirms possibility of noise induced hearing loss or documents hearing loss for example factor noise level testings, prior hearing tests etc.

Note: The claim form authority allows WorkSafe to obtain information from either an interstate employer or interstate insurer. (See last page of worker’s copy of form).

Questions to ask IIA or medical panel

If it is likely that some level of industrial hearing loss occurred interstate the Agent should ask the examiner to provide the:

  • whole person impairment inclusive of any hearing loss which may have occurred as a result of interstate employment
  • whole person impairment of the hearing loss which is considered to have occurred in Victoria only, based on a time weighted scale.

Hearing loss from causes other than employment, for example, exposure to firearms, loud music etc should also be taken into consideration.

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