Braunfotel & Frendel LLC
Schedule Your Free Consultation
PLEASE NOTE: To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering our clients and prospective clients the ability to meet with us in person, via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options

Workplace safety and the hazards posed by ototoxicants

Employers in New York must protect the safety and health of their employees, and they must inform workers of the hazards to which they will be exposed. Workplace safety is the responsibility of employers, but there are some hazards of which even they may not be aware. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently published a bulletin to create awareness of ototoxicants, which are chemicals that can damage workers' hearing.

Unfortunately, research related to ototoxic hearing loss is still limited, and hearing tests cannot yet determine whether noise or ototoxicants caused the damage. However, it has been established that the most significant danger is the fact that these chemicals bring about speech discrimination dysfunction. This diminishes an affected worker's ability to distinguish the sounds of the voices of co-workers and known warning signals from ambient noises.

According to OSHA, ototoxicants are present in metals and compounds, nitriles, solvents, asphyxiants like carbon monoxide and tobacco smoke, and pharmaceuticals that include antibiotics and analgesics. They can be absorbed through a worker's skin, ingested or inhaled. Industries in which exposure hazards are significant include construction, agriculture, mining and utilities along with certain manufacturing sectors such as metal fabrication, boat and shipbuilders and those working with textile, apparel and paint.

Although the New York workers' compensation insurance program provides benefits to cover medical expenses for injured workers, proving that the lack of workplace safety caused hearing loss may be challenging. This is due to the fact that ototoxicants are still largely unknown hazards. However, the help of an experienced workers' compensation attorney can simplify the claims process.

Source:, "Exposure to certain chemicals may cause hearing loss, OSHA warns", March 28, 2018

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Tell Us How We Can Help

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response
Our Office Location
  • Braunfotel & Frendel LLC
    49 Maple Avenue
    New City, New York 10956

    Toll Free: 888-787-5668
    Phone: 845-521-7835
    Fax: 845-634-7710
    New City Law Office Map

Office Map