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Worker's hand trapped

CARYN WIGMORE
Last updated 12:40 01/05/2014
Hopper

ACCIDENT SITE: The hopper where a Huapai worker slipped and caught his hand under an auger (at the bottom).

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A cellar worker at the centre of a dramatic rescue is waiting to see if there if there is any tendon damage to the hand that got caught in an auger at a vineyard north of Auckland.

Members of the airforce, stationed at the nearby Whenuapai Airbase, joined firefighters and St John ambulance staff to release the man from the machinery.

The man, in his 30s, was washing a hopper when the 9.40am accident happened during the final clean of the year at the end of harvest on Tuesday morning.

The hopper was not working at the time but the man could not free himself.

"He was rattled as he was in a fair bit of pain," leading winemaker Simon Nunns of Coopers Creek Vineyard in Huapai says.

"He didn't fall far but his hand was very firmly wedged."

Ambulance officers gave the man pain relief while firefighters used hydraulic equipment to move the auger a few millimetres and free his left hand.

The hand was left with a line between the thumb and forefinger but no sign of blood, Nunns says.

The vintage worker was taken by ambulance to North Shore Hospital where he was talking and in good spirits on Tuesday afternoon, Nunns says.

The man is waiting to find out if there is any tendon damage.

Nunns says vineyard workers get on well and "it's upsetting for all parties if something like this happens."

"It's an unfortunate experience but it's a good outcome."

OSH is investigating.

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- Norwest News

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