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My Employee has met the Waugh & Macrae Criteria, what does that mean?

The Waugh and Macrae Criteria is a set of occupational audiometry guidelines developed by WorkCover WA to assist Audiometric officers in making objective decisions regarding referrals and/or further action.

Most workers attending for a baseline hearing test will have normal or near normal hearing. However, around 5-10% of workers will need a referral to an audiologist practitioner for further advice and possible treatment.

There are four Waugh and Macrae criteria, three of which apply only to WorkCover WA baseline hearing tests, and one applies to all Workover compliant hearing tests.

So, what does it mean when my employee has met the Waugh & Macrae criteria?

We use the work ‘met’ when considering these criteria, rather than ‘pass’ or ‘fail’. This is deliberate as workers do not pass or fail a hearing test, results may simply warrant further investigation.

During the baseline hearing exam, the WorkCover WA approved Audiometric Officer will apply Waugh & Macrae criteria 1,2 & 3 to determine whether further investigation with an Audiologist is required.

Criteria 1, 2 and 3 all relate to hearing loss found during the WorkCover compliant audiometric test. This hearing loss may be the result of noise-induced hearing loss and/or may relate to an underlying medical condition.

If the worker has met Waugh and Macrae criteria 1, 2 or 3 (Workers can sometimes meet multiple criteria) and they have been employed, Workscreen Medical will advise the appropriate party that was listed on the WorkCover WA form 406 – This is usually the booking company or the workers' employer.

Workscreen Medical will provide all relevant information to enable further testing for the employee. This information includes: - A directory of Audiologist providers approved by WorkCover WA - The WorkCover WA form 409 (The Audiologist will require this) - The WorkCover WA form 410 (The Audiologist will require this) - A guide to noise-induced hearing loss - Further information about the Audiologist referral

Waugh and Macrae criteria 4 is applied to all WorkCover WA compliant hearing tests.

Criteria 4 is where, upon examination of the ear, the worker has more than 75%

wax occlusion, foreign body, discharge, or any other apparent medical condition

likely to affect the test result. In this instance, the worker will have their

hearing test postponed until the canal is clear.

It is a WorkCover WA legislative requirement that the employer must notify the worker that they require further testing, arrange the testing and pay for the testing required. For further information, please contact Workscreen Medical


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