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Spotlight on Industrial Deafness Claims

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Coal Mines Insurance have been working hard to make the process for lodging a claim for industrial deafness easier.

As a noisy industry, these types of claims have long been a part of the landscape for the coal mining industry. In recent years the industry has seen an increase in awareness and use of hearing protection, yet claims costs continue to rise.

According to Coal Mines Insurance (CMI) this is driven in part by the rising cost of hearing aids; but it is also due to the way in which some claims are presented to CMI through solicitors.

On average, 70 per cent of new industrial deafness claims received by CMI each year are received this way – but this process is time-consuming, costly and it is not necessary.

CMI’s Group Lead Legal Services, Todd Noon explains: “Some of our claimants have said they thought they needed a lawyer to make a claim – that isn’t the case at all. And others have said that they didn’t know they could claim directly with CMI. In fact, it’s often a faster process to claim directly with us or via a union representative.

“A claim for hearing aids is not a complicated process. We also have a team of specialists who focus exclusively on the management of industrial deafness claims and to guide and support people making this type of claim.”

Support for workers

CMI has made the process easier for people wanting to make a claim for industrial deafness. Some of the initiatives include:

  • A specific industrial deafness claim form.
  • A fact sheet that explains the steps involved in lodging an industrial deafness claim and the preferred channels in which to do so (directly with CMI or via the Mining & Energy Union if the worker is a member).

These are available on the CMI website.

If you would like to find out more about industrial deafness claims, contact CMI on (02) 8270 3245 or email hearingloss@coalservices.com.au.
Fast Facts

– Industrial deafness claims account for around 14% of all claims received by CMI
– On average, industrial deafness claims account for 4% of total claim payments
– Around 66% of first-time claimants are no longer employed in the industry
– Average age of claimant (first claim for industrial deafness) is 55.7 years

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