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Jessica Nguyen

- 12 Oct 2021
  • Personal Injury

What is noise induced hearing loss and when should you seek legal advice?

Noise induced hearing loss is a condition that affects many workers across various industries including manufacturing, construction, transport and the entertainment industry. When people work closely with or near heavy machinery or noisy tools, the result can be damage to structures in the inner ear that respond to sound. 


What causes noise induced hearing loss?

Noise induced hearing loss is caused by prolonged exposure to noise. It can also result from a one-time exposure to a very loud sound or blast like an explosion. 

It is a permanent condition that is irreversible and is likely to be progressive whilst the exposure to noise continues which can have serious consequences for a worker’s individual health and quality of life. 


What does noise induced hearing loss sound like?

If you’ve recently had prolonged exposure to noise and you recognise any of the signs listed below, you may have noise induced hearing loss.

  1. Higher pitched sounds are harder to hear than lower pitched sounds;
  2. The degree of hearing loss usually affects both ears equally;
  3. Depending on the worker’s occupational role and their exposure to noise, the hearing loss can affect one ear only or alternatively, one ear is significantly more impaired than the other;
  4. Speech and other sounds seem muffled;
  5. Trouble understanding conversations when you are in a noisy place;
  6. Ringing, hissing or roaring in the ears (a condition called Tinnitus that can cause sleep disturbance). 


When should you seek legal advice?

If you have noticed a change in your hearing or have family or friends that say you have trouble hearing and understanding them, it may be worthwhile speaking to a workers compensation lawyer specialising in industrial deafness. 

At DBH Lawyers, we can provide you with assistance in investigating and determining what benefits and/or lump sum compensation you may be entitled to under the Return to Work Act 2014 (‘the Act’) and help you through the process of making a workers’ compensation claim, which can be daunting for those who have never lodged a workers compensation claim before. 

If you have received an adverse decision from your self-insured employer or Compensating Authority, we are also here for you to assist challenge the rejection of your claim for compensation and defend your claim. You should be aware that there is a 1 month time limitation from the date you receive the determination to apply for a review in order to be filed “in time”. 

DBH Lawyers offers a free first interview for anyone who thinks they may have suffered noise induced hearing loss in their workplace.