Workers who believe they have suffered noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) as a result of noise exposure in the workplace may lodge a claim for workers compensation. To proceed with a claim, the worker is required to undergo testing and assessment by practitioners authorised by WorkCover WA. In certain circumstances, employers are obliged to pay for testing/assessment and any associated reasonable expenses.

Who is responsible?

If your employer requires you to frequently wear personal protective equipment as protection from noise exposure in the workplace that exceeds an LAeq,8h of 85dB(A); or an LC,peak of 140dB(C) (consistent with testing obligations under WHS law), they are considered to be a ‘noisy employer’ under the Act. Workers in ‘noisy employment’ can ask for an audiological test if they believe their hearing is deteriorating as a result of noise exposure in the workplace. ‘Noisy employers’ are required to pay for audiological testing, along with reasonable expenses upon request. You are entitled to an audiological test paid for by the employer every two years.

A ‘noisy’ employer is still required to pay for audiological testing if the worker requests a test after leaving their employment, and not more than three (3) months have elapsed since the date employment ceased.

‘Noisy Employer’ Determinations

If there is ambiguity or disagreement over whether the employer is obliged to pay for your audiological testing and any associated reasonable expenses, you can request a ‘Noisy Employer’ Determination from WorkCover WA. Based on the evaluation of the available facts, WorkCover WA will make a binding decision as to whether the employer is obliged to pay for testing. WorkCover WA may also make a determination on a class of employer required to pay for testing. Any determination on a class of employer will be published on the WorkCover WA website.

For further information, please contact the NIHL team at

Worker can pay for Testing

If your employer is not required to pay for audiological testing but you believe your hearing has deteriorated due to noise exposure in the workplace, you may arrange and pay for your own audiological test and any further assessment that is required. If your claim is successful, your last ‘noisy employer’ is required to reimburse the cost of testing to you.

Authorised Audiologists and ENT Specialists
Only authorised audiologists can conduct audiological tests for workers compensation purposes. If the audiological test results indicate a NIHL assessment is required, this must be done by an ENT specialist. The NIHL Directory of Service Providers can be found here.

Making Appointments for Testing and Assessment

It is the worker’s responsibility to arrange the necessary appointments, even if it is the ‘noisy employer’ who is obliged to pay for testing and assessment. When making an appointment, you must:

  • Ensure you have had 16 hours of quiet prior to testing (less than 80dB, which is equivalent to a vacuum cleaner or heavy road traffic),
  • State that the appointment is for worker’s compensation purposes,
  • Provide the details of your employer (e.g. contact details, ABN).

Workers may use the Notice of Arrangement of Audiological Test Form when making an appointment with an authorised audiologist.

Testing and Assessment Process

Step 1. Audiological Test

The first step is to undergo an audiological test conducted by an authorised audiologist. If 10% or greater percentage loss of hearing (PLH) is identified, or 5% if it is a subsequent claim, you can then make an appointment with an authorised ENT for a NIHL Assessment. The audiological test results should be submitted to WorkCover WA and a copy provided to you, within one month from of the test taking place.

The methodology, testing environment and equipment used by authorised audiologists must meet stringent standards.

Step 2. NIHL Assessment

An authorised ENT will then conduct a NIHL assessment to determine the percentage of hearing loss that is attributed to noise exposure in the workplace, known as noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). If 10% NIHL or above is identified (or 5% NIHL for a subsequent claim), you are eligible to make a claim. The NIHL assessment should be submitted to WorkCover WA and a copy provided to you, within one month from of the assessment taking place.

Prior to seeing the ENT, you must complete the Worker Noise Exposure and Employment History form and bring it with you to your appointment.

What Happens Next?

You must complete a NIHL claim form and submit it to your last noisy employer (as determined in the NIHL Assessment), along with copies of the audiological test report, NIHL assessment and other required forms (e.g. Worker Noise Exposure and Employment History form). The employer has 7 days to forward the claim documents to their Insurer. The Insurer will then assess the claim and either accept or decline it.

If an insurer disputes your claim based on a hearing loss matter (i.e. the results of the NIHL assessment, the extend of hearing loss suffered and whether the hearing loss suffered in NIHL), you may be asked to attend another NIHL assessment by an authorised ENT specialist. Information with regards to disputing NIHL claims can be found here.

WorkCover WA may release information pertaining to your NIHL claim (e.g. audiological test reports, NIHL assessment results, etc), however the grounds for disclosure must meet the requirements specified in the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Regulations 2024.

Compensation cannot be claimed for noise induced hearing loss which occurred before March 1991.

NIHL Resources

Fact sheets and forms in relation to noise induced hearing loss can be found here.


Email the NIHL team at if you would like further information.