Worker’s Compensation

By Rachel

source: http://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au  OR  http://www.workcover.vic.gov.au

Noise exposure is one of the most widespread hazards in the workplace with 19% of all
disease-related claims made nationally in 2001-02 relating to hearing loss.

The new Worksafe policy puts an emphasis on enabling employers and workers to
focus their efforts on controlling rather than assessing risks.

OHS (Noise) Regulations 2004


1. Is there a noise issue at the work site?

  • If an employee’s exposure may exceed the exposure standard, the employer must assess the employee’s exposure to noise. [Regulation 11]
  • • The exposure standard is an 8 hour average of 85 dB(A) or a peak of 140 dB(C). [Regulation 5]

2. Has employees’ noise exposure been assessed?

(ie, if exposure may exceed the exposure standard without taking hearing protectors into account)

  • The employer must, if practicable, consult with the health and safety representative of affected employees. [Regulation 10(1)
  • If there is no health and safety representative, the employer must, if practicable, consult with the employees themselves or with their representative.[Regulation 10(2) ]
  • The assessment must include the level of noise and the duration of exposure. [Regulation 11(1)]
  • The assessment must take into account any plant and other sources of noise, systems of work and any other relevant factors. [Regulation 11(3)]
  • The employer must review and revise any assessmentif the results are no longer applicable, whenrequested by an HSR, or at least every 5 years.
  • The employer must make and keep a written record of the assessment. [Regulation 11(6)]

3. Has the hierarchy of control for reducing exposure to noise been applied?
• Elimination
• Substitution with quieter plant or processes or engineering controls
• Administrative controls
• Hearing protectors (HP)

  • The employer must ensure that no employee is exposed to noise above the exposure standard.

4. Has a written noise control plan been prepared (where required)?
Noise control plan should highlight:
• Timelines & responsible persons
• Proposed controls/actions
• Elimination
• Substitution
• Engineering

  • If the employer proposes to implement elimination, substitution or engineering controls and it is not practicable to do so within 6 months of the risk assessment, the employer must prepare a written noise control plan that describes the actions necessary to implement the control measure.

5. Are hearing protector signs/labels in place?

  • If an employer is required to provide hearing protectors, the employer must clearly identify by signs, labelling of plant or other appropriate means, when and where the hearing protectors are to be worn.

6. Is audiometric testing provided where hearing protectors are required to control noise exposure?

  • If an employer is required to provide hearing protectors, the employer must provide and pay for audiometric testing within 3 months of an employee commencing work where hearing protectors are required, when reasonably requested by HSR…or at least every 2 years.
  • If 2 consecutive tests indicate a reduction in employee’s hearing equal to or greater than 15 dB at 3000 Hz, 4000 Hz or 6000 Hz, the employer must provide and pay for the employee to undergo an audiological examination.

7. Has training been provided?
• Effects of noise?
• Control measures used?
• Selection, use and fit of hearing protectors?
• Purpose and nature of audiometry?
• Confirmation of training by employees?

  • An employer who is required to implement control measures must provide relevant employees with information, instruction and training. [Regulation 18]

APPLYING FOR COMPENSATION

To be considered for workers’ compensation, an employer must do the following:

1. Notify the employer of the injury, make sure it is recorded in the Register of Injuries
Must be done within 30 days of becoming aware of the injury. If you don’t notify your employer you may not be entitled to compensation.

2. Get a medical certificate
If you can’t do your normal job you should see a doctor and ask for a Certificate of Capacity, similar to a medical certificate. The certificate needs to describe the injury, anticipated time off work and possible alternative duties.

3. If a motor vehicle was involved
If your injury or illness is the result of a motor vehicle accident, you must also report the accident to the police.

4. Obtain a Claim Form
If you want to claim benefits for time off work and/or medical treatment because of a work-related injury or illness, you have to complete a Worker’s Injury Claim Form.

You can use this form for most claims but you will need to use the following forms for other entitlements:

  • Worker’s Claim for Impairment Benefits
  • Dependant’s Claim for Compensation (for burial and cremation and dependant pensions after a work-related death)
  • Worker’s Claim for Permanent Disability (for hearing loss and permanent disability).

The employee also has a duty of care to fulfill, to be considered for Worker’s compensation. This includes cooperating with employers’ safety policies and procedures, attending any OHS training, and using safety equipment supplied by the employer.

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~ by pcl4 on August 13, 2008.

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