Two friends desperately tried to save a man who fell into a woodchipper on a property in Gympie, north of Brisbane on Sunday night.

The man was feeding branches into the hired woodchipper when he became entangled, a police officer told Seven News.

The two friends realised the man had become entangled and tried desperately to save him.

"It was actually quite horrific. His friends discovered him as he became entangled and attempted to extract him from the shredder and were unable to do so. So they're obviously quite traumatised now," the Gympie police officer said.


Maryborough Forensics Inspector Steve Webb told Channel Nine: "They are all friends and they were doing a favour for the lady that owns the property sadly."

In a press conference yesterday, Acting Inspector Paul Algie said the way the man died was "absolutely shocking".

"It's a horrendous thing to have to attend as a police officer - any sudden death - but these circumstances were absolutely shocking," he told the ABC .

"Everyone's obviously very distressed and we're still trying to work out the circumstances as to who has seen what."

The 54-year-old man was clearing the driveway of a rural property at Goomborian, Gympie with two friends on Sunday night when the incident occurred.

None of the men were contractors and were there to help the person who owns the property.

The man was feeding branches into the hired woodchipper when he became entangled, a police officer told Seven News.

Insp Algie said the two men who were with the man when the incident occurred were "extremely distressed".

"They're understandably extremely distressed over what's occurred," he said.

"They're very traumatised as a result of what's happened and police are assisting them obviously in any way we can in terms of ongoing welfare needs."

First responders and anyone investigating the incident have also been offered support services.

According to police, the man died instantly and his death is being treated as an accident. They don't believe there are any suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

Insp Algie could not yet say if the man had been using the woodchipper unsafely or incorrectly.

Officers from the Sunshine Coast's Workplace Health and Safety team are currently investigating and police are preparing a report for the coroner.

Forensic crash officers and the diaster victim identification unit from Brisbane are also "still trying to ascertain" how it happened.

Police have also impounded the machine and will conduct a full industrial investigation.