Man lives after head impaled on meat works hook

A man's head has been impaled on a hook from a piece of equipment at a meat processing plant.

Ambulance spokesman Norm Ngatai said staff were alerted to the incident at the AFFCO meat works in Paengaroa, in New Zealand's Bay of Plenty, about 7.10pm.

"A man in his 40s [was] impaled by a spreader. A spreader is what keeps the...legs of a cow open.

"He's been caught up on that through the back of the head into the face."

It took staff about an hour-and-a-half to safely remove the man from the hook, Mr Ngatai said.

His condition then improved, and he was taken to Tauranga Hospital in a moderate condition.