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10.6.2 Loss of Hearing

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Loss of hearing may be defined as:

  • the inability to hear pure tones defined by their frequency and intensity.

Claims for hearing loss are among some of the most complex permanent impairment claims. Hearing loss claims:

  • may result from years of exposure to noise, pre and post 1988 Act
  • can involve tinnitus, and
  • liability may overlap different employers.

Where the date of injury is before 1 October 2001, and exposure to noise ceased before 1 October 2001, hearing loss claims will only be successful if it is established that there is a 20% loss of hearing (10% WPI) (except in transitional cases). If the member has not reached the 20% (10% WPI) threshold before 1 October 2001, and they are no longer exposed to noise trauma, it is unlikely that a claim for hearing loss will succeed.

Where the date of injury is on or after 1 October 2001, or exposure to noise trauma continued after that date, entitlement for hearing loss arises where there is a binaural hearing loss of 5% (2.5% WPI) or more.