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Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 (Act No. 130 of 1993)

Circular Instructions

Circular Instruction No. 171 - Determination of Permanent Disablement resulting from Exposure to Excessive Noise and Trauma in Industry

4. Documentation to Accompany a Claim for Compensation


Claims will be submitted either to the Compensation Commissioner or to the Mutual Association as applicable. Over and above the standard documentation required i.e. Employer’s Report of an Occupational Disease/Injury(W Cl.1/2) and Notice of an Occupational Disease/Injury and Claim for Compensation(W Cl.14/3), the following documents are required:


4.1 Claimant’s service record - this should confirm in writing exposure to excessive occupational noise. The intensity and duration of exposure should be commensurate with the hearing impairment.


4.2 It should be proved that the noise was of such a nature and intensity and exposure to it of such duration, as to be likely to have caused permanent noise-induced hearing impairment. The compensability of a claim can only be considered where noise level readings exceed the maximum laid down by the South African Bureau of Standards (S.A.B.S. 083-1983) and which is known as the N85 Noise Rating Curve Level.


4.3 Medical opinion - this should state that the hearing loss is compatible with noise induced hearing impairment. In atypical cases an appropriate explanation should be provided.


4.4 Audiograms - two audiograms conducted by the diagnostic audiologist should be submitted. The audiograms should be performed after at least 24 hours have elapsed from the last exposure to excessive noise. The audiograms may be done on the same day but at different sittings. The audiograms must not differ by more than 10 dB at any frequency. The better diagnostic audiogram will be used to calculate PLH for compensation purposes. If required, a third audiogram shall be performed. If this is still not within the 10dB limit then the assessment shall be delayed for a period of 6 months. If audiograms of the required quality are still not obtained after 6 months ’then referral to an ENT-specialist will be made in order to determine hearing loss.


4.5 A copy of the baseline audiogram (and calculated PLH)-This is important as the baseline PLH will be subtracted from the better diagnostic audiogram PLH to determine the hearing loss for which the Commissioner, Mutual Association or Employer Individually Liable, is responsible.


4.6 Proof of employee’s identity - the audiologist performing the audiogram should attest in writing to the employee’s identity.