How does deafness affect critical illness claims?

Published 19 Jan 2016

While there are some diseases and injuries unique to certain professions, there is a range of other afflictions that can impact a person regardless of the job they work.

The sheer volume involved in working in a number of industries around Australia offers a substantial risk of people going deaf. On top this, dangerous events in any workplace can damage a person's hearing, leading them to launch a critical illness claim if they are unable to continue working.

In these cases, going deaf can be particularly traumatic for people. Not only is there a high chance of them being unable to perform their role as intended, it's likely to impact their daily lives as well.

How does industrial deafness affect critical illness claims?

While most people will be aware of the impact of sudden high volumes on a person's hearing, there are other dangers that can be just as detrimental to aural health.

Industrial deafness refers to the condition where people lose their hearing or have it damaged by an extended exposure to extreme volumes. Over time, the intensity of the these sounds - particularly common in factories or mining operations - erodes hearing ability, which can lead people to consider a critical illness claim.

Although Safe Work Australia noted occurrences of this type of deafness are on the decline due to more advanced hearing protection and new regulations, they still have a notable effect on the individuals that are afflicted.

Why does this result in critical illness claims?

Safe Work Australia also reported there are specific aspects of industrial deafness that make it particularly stressful for the people it affects. According to the organisation, the illness is irreversible. Once a person's hearing as been eroded, there is no cure.

While there are a number of inclusive work practices that can help victims return to the workforce, such as sign language or supporting technology, in many cases they may be unable to perform their former job.

How can people detect the onset of industrial deafness?

Although it may seem obvious, there are a number of early symptoms that can suggest someone's hearing is being damaged. If people notice they are becoming hard-of-hearing or are experiencing tinnitus - a high-pitched ringing of the inner ear - it's important to seek the advice of a medical professional.

If you think you have a critical illness claim worth pursuing, it's important to contact the lawyers at Gerard Malouf and Partners.

Extract: People depend on their senses to do their job. In cases where they become deaf, it can be difficult to resume a normal life.

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