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5 common ear injuries in noisy manufacturing plants

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

If you work in a manufacturing plant with roaring machinery and deafening equipment, you’re exposed to a constant barrage of loud noises. In such environments, susceptibility to ear problems is significantly heightened.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), hearing loss is among the most common work-related injuries in the United States, particularly in industries with high noise exposure like manufacturing. Common ear injuries in noisy plants include the following.

Acoustic trauma

When you are exposed to sudden, extremely loud noises such as machinery malfunctions or industrial accidents, it can lead to acoustic trauma. This type of injury causes immediate damage to the delicate structures of the inner ear. Acoustic trauma can have lasting effects on hearing if preventive measures are not in place.

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL)

Continuous exposure to high levels of noise from machinery and equipment can gradually cause damage to the hair cells in the inner ear, leading to permanent hearing loss. NIHL typically develops over time and may not be immediately noticeable, but it can significantly impact a worker’s ability to communicate and function in a noisy environment.


Exposure to loud noises in manufacturing plants can also result in tinnitus, characterized by ringing, buzzing or hissing sounds in the ears. While tinnitus itself is not a hearing loss condition, it can be distressing and affect concentration, sleep and overall well-being.


Changes in air pressure, often associated with machinery operations or compressed air systems in manufacturing plants, can cause barotrauma. This type of injury can result in damage to the eardrum or middle ear structures leading to pain, discomfort and temporary or permanent hearing impairment.

Ear canal injuries

Workers in noisy manufacturing plants are at risk of ear canal injuries caused by foreign objects, tools or equipment. These injuries can range from minor abrasions to more severe damage, potentially leading to infections and other complications if not promptly treated.

If you are a victim of any of these common ear injuries in a noisy manufacturing plant, seeking legal guidance is essential for understanding your rights and pursuing compensation effectively.


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