PA Court Addresses Notice Requirement for Work-Related Hearing Loss

Under the PA Workers’ Compensation Act, an injured worker must give his or her employer notice of the injury within 120 days of the injury. If notice is not given within 120 days of the work injury, a workers’ comp claim for the injury will be barred. This issue becomes somewhat more complicated when the injury is one which occurs over a period of years, such as a noise-induced hearing loss.

A recent case decided by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, Crompton Corp. v. W.C.A.B. (King), found that the requirement of giving notice is triggered only when an injured worker is told by a doctor that he or she has suffered a loss of hearing as a result of exposure to noise at work. Until an injured worker is advised of this, there is no requirement that notice be given. The fact the injured employee may suspect, or even believe, that he has a work-related hearing loss is not enough to trigger the start of the 120 day notice period.