A MAN of 31 was killed while carrying out maintenance at the Helados Alacant plant in San Vicente.
Employed by a sub-contractor and an expert in working at height, he was inside one of the ice-cream factory’s refrigerated silos, where the temperature is maintained at 28C below freezing, when he died.
Work inspectors and the region’s Institute of Occupational Health (Invassat) are investigating the accident but according to initial reports the maintenance man he entered the zone housing the machinery that controls the silo and its contents.
Safety regulations require this to be shut down during maintenance operations but for unknown reasons the machinery was still running and worker was trapped and crushed by a conveyor belt.
UGT official Adolfo Duran said that the trade union was calling for a full enquiry and would insist that steps were taken to prevent a repetition of this kind of accident.
The company expressed its consternation and offered condolences to the worker’s family but a spokesman declined to comment on the circumstances of the accident while a judicial investigation was underway.
Fourteen people have lost their lives in work-related accidents in Alicante province this year, according to official figures. The last occurred almost a month ago when a workman fell from the ninth floor on a Playa de San Juan building site.