The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) thru the Social Security System (SSS) recently granted monetary benefits to a 58-year old mill plant operator, who suffered from noise-induced hearing loss.
The worker had been employed at the Philex Mining Corporation in Tuba, Benguet since May 1, 1988 and performed a number of responsibilities as mill utility, helper, and mill plant operator for almost 30 years.
Between April 13, 2011 to April 8, 2017, the plant operator underwent audiogram examinations which showed that he had been suffering from mild and moderate hearing loss for both ears. In line with this, he filed a claim for disability benefits before the SSS Baguio City Branch in August 2017 and was denied for the reason that the illness has no causal relationship to the nature of his work as there are no documents to support the claim.
Upon review, the ECC cited that there was reasonable probability that the plant operator’s working conditions in underground mining entailed exposure to noise hazards which, eventually, caused or contributed to the manifestation of his hearing impairment.
From 1988 to date, the said operator has been assigned as mill utility, helper, and eventually, as mill plant operator in a mining company where machines and dynamic blasting have made the workplace increasingly noisy.
Thus, the case was reversed and the ECC granted the plant operator’s claim for disability benefit plus reimbursement of medical expenses incurred for consultations, medications, and laboratory examinations due to his noise induced hearing loss.
EC claims for sickness or injury resulting in disability or death are filed at the SSS for the private sector and the GSIS for the public sector.