A MAN underwent emergency surgery last night after suffering horrific injuries in a mechanical wood chipper at Bushfield.
The 47-year-old Warrnambool City Council employee received significant damage to his hands, arms and top of his head.
He was flown by ambulance helicopter to Melbourne’s Alfred hospital in a serious condition.
Paramedics worked to control profuse bleeding using direct pressure to the wounds.
He was given pain relief through a drip in his arm before being loaded into the south-west ambulance helicopter which landed nearby.
A hospital spokesman was contacted last night but did not respond in time for deadline.
Ambulance Victoria despatched advanced life support paramedics and a single responder intensive care paramedic to the scene about 1.30pm.
The incident happened on Quinns Road as a council crew was trimming roadside trees.
It is understood the victim was feeding a branch into the chipper when he became entangled.
WorkSafe later seized the chipper which uses high-speed blades and an officer will start an on-site investigation this morning.
City council chief executive Bruce Anson said all staff and councillors were shocked by the news.
“It’s a most distressing incident — a frightening thought,” he said. “The man is part of our council team and we will do everything we can to help him.
“The last thing we want is any harm to come to our employees. We always need to make sure staff have a safe working environment.”