Worker seriously injured after 15-metre fall

2011-10-11 00:00

A WORKER at the animal feed factory Epol was seriously injured when he fell into a pit with an estimated depth of about 15 metres, underneath a silo at the factory yesterday morning.

The worker is reported to have broken two fingers, suffered injuries to his head and shoulders and was apparently bleeding heavily from the head injuries. He is in a stable condition in hospital.

Sources at the scene said the worker had been standing on a plate covering the pit and carrying sacks of animal feed when he fell in.

The edge of the plate had become weakened over time and it caved in, launching the worker into the pit.

Sources say the workers tried to hold on to the edge, but another sack hit him knocking him into the pit.

According to sources, the fire department could not reach down to pull the man out as the pit was too narrow. A chain block had to be used to pull him out in a 45-minute operation.

“He was seriously injured, when he was pulled out. He had sustained injuries to his hand as he had lost two fingers and he was bleeding heavily from his head and he had sustained injuries to both his shoulders, broken fingers and even possibly injured his neck and back.”

The incident could have been avoided as the plate that the worker was standing on was already very worn out, said the sources.

Attempts to get comment from the management of Epol were unsuccessful as the management said via their security guard that they were not willing to talk about the incident.

ER24 paramedics who were called to the scene confirmed that the man had suffered a possible broken shoulder, broken fingers and even possible injury to his neck and back.

They said advanced life support had to be performed on him before he could be moved.

• thamsanqam@witness.co.za

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