Man dies after workplace lathe incident


A 26-year-old man from Craigieburn, Victoria, has died in hospital after being struck in the head by a steel rod being shaped by a lathe last week.

The incident occurred at a Thomastown steel fabrication business.

WorkSafe Victoria is investigating the incident and believes the man, who was a factory-hand and not the lathe operator, was hit on the back of his head after one end of the steel rod being turned on the lathe came loose.

WorkSafe’s acting executive director for Health and Safety Stan Krpan said it should prompt Victorian workplaces using lathes to take a second look at safety around the machines.

“Lathes are common machines – you find them in workplaces ranging from small workshops through to large industrial operations.

“Because of the speed of the rotating parts, they’re very dangerous pieces of machinery to operate.

“Employers must ensure equipment is as safe as reasonably practicable, that operators are appropriately trained and others in the workplace understand the risks.”

WorkSafe publishes information sheet on guarding for manual lathes. It is available at

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