A worker has been airlifted to hospital with serious injuries after falling through the roof of Nestlé’s beverages factory in Dalston, Cumbria.
Emergency services were called at 10.30am on Friday February 22 when the man fell 30ft through the roof of the factory.
An air ambulance was called to the scene, where paramedics treated the man for facial, and possible pelvic and leg injuries. The injuries were described as “serious to severe”.
A spokesman from Great North Air Ambulance told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “A man in his twenties was today airlifted by the Pride of Cumbria aircraft after he fell 30ft through the roof of a factory at Dalston, near Carlisle.
“The charity’s paramedics worked alongside a North West Ambulance Service paramedic and a local British Association for Immediate Care response doctor. Together, they assessed and treated the casualty before he was flown to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.”
Pelvic and leg injuries
A spokeswoman for Nestlé told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “We can confirm that on Friday morning, there was an incident at our Nestlé Dalston site involving a contractor. He was taken to hospital.”
The patient, who is believed to be from Carlisle, is said to be in a stable condition.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is now investigating the incident.
A spokesman from the HSE told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “The HSE has launched an investigation into the fall from height, which involved a scaffolder. We have visited the site but cannot comment further at this stage.”
Nestlé said: “The safety and health of every employee, contractor and visitor is of paramount importance to us. We are currently co-operating with the HSE and our contractors to understand how this incident has happened.”
Food industry fatalities
According to figures from the HSE, more than 4,700 food manufacturing injuries were reported in 2011/12, including “several” fatalities.
Injury rates vary widely between the 30 or so different food and drink sectors.
Across the industry, there were 1,400 injuries per 100,000 workers in 2010/11.
The highest number of injuries occurred in the poultry processing sector, which recorded 2,800 injuries per 100,000 workers. Meat processing was the second most dangerous sector at more than 1,800 injuries per 100,000 workers. The safest sectors for workers were fruit and vegetable processing at 600 injuries and potato processing at 400 injuries per 100,000 workers.
The HSE reported that the overall trend was towards fewer injuries.