NSW: Boy Dies After Lathe Accident

Source: Safety Culture

A 15-year-old boy has died following a lathe accident where his arm was severed.

A coroner's inquest has been ordered into the tragic incident at a metal parts factory in Birch Street, Condell Park on May 4.

A spokeswoman for the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said the boy, who was under a pre-apprenticeship employment, was in a situation where he could be retained as an apprentice if the company determines he is fit for the work.

She said the incident raises several questions, including why the boy was permitted to work with a dangerous plant despite having little experience.

"It is a terrible tragedy," she said.

"It's such an unusual circumstance for a kid to lose his life in an industrial accident.

"We don't know whether there were other witnesses. It was a very small business and the owner was at another site.

"Even in the worst, most unsafe workplace, it is unusual for a boy that age to be operating a lathe."

According to WorkCover spokesman John Kirby, the boy was apparently operating the lathe and left it running without him realising.

"He went to lean on it and the lathe amputated his right arm below the elbow," he said.

The business owner's wife found the boy and immediately called an ambulance. He was transported to Westmead Hospital, where he succumbed to death.

WorkCover investigators have already visited the plant, while the police is conducting its own investigation.