A worker has suffered caustic soda burns while cleaning out machines at the Whittaker's chocolate factory in Porirua.
A few litres of chemicals spilled on to his shoulder and arm while he was mixing them up tonight.
The worker was taken to Hutt Hospital, where he was in a stable condition in the emergency department, a hospital spokeswoman said.
''It caused stinging, burning feelings, which he knew he had to do something about pretty quickly,'' Porirua Fire Station senior station officer Dene Wade said.
''It was in a fairly concentrated form so it was fairly nasty stuff to have on his skin.''
A Wellington Free Ambulance spokeswoman said the man's injuries were ''potentially serious''.
Whittaker's staff helped him remove his clothes and got him into a shower until emergency services arrived.
He was taken to hospital by ambulance while fire services worked to contain and clean up the spill.
The Labour Department would be investigating the incident tomorrow, Mr Wade said.
A senior Whittaker's manager, who refused to be named, told The Dominion Post on the scene that there had been ''a very small accident and we're investigating''.
- The Dominion Post