Richard Fitzgerald

Claims Manager, Hearing Loss Team, ACC, Dunedin, NZ

Richard has been managing hearing loss claims (mainly occupational noise claims) for 8 years within the ACC Hearing loss team based in Dunedin. 

The ACC National Assessment Audit, New Developments, and Process Issues

An audit of 220 assessment reports on occupational noise-induced hearing loss was carried out in November 2017. The clinical audit tool was developed based on ACC’s experience in other claim areas, together with input from the four otologists involved in the project. The main clinical areas were evaluated by the otologists, and some ratings were carried out by ACC team leaders, and the Audiology Adviser. The results presented here have been provided to the assessors, together with their individual results. Details of the process and results will be provided, and opportunity given for discussion.

New materials have been developed in conjunction with representatives of NZSOHNS. Updated literature reviews have been commissioned on chemicals in the workplace and their effect on hearing loss, and impact/impulse noise. The Assessment guide which was developed in 2010 has been updated. A document summarizing noise levels has also been produced to assist clinicians.

Changes to ACC’s processes and associated issues will be addressed.