$30,000 fine for teenager’s workplace death sends no message on safety
Aug 17, 2012

A $30,000 fine for the employer of a 15-year-old boy killed in a horrific workplace accident sends no message to the employer community about their responsibilities on safety, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said today.

Kevin Hadfield, former owner and manager of western Sydney based Australian Metal Spinners, was fined $30,000 in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission today after pleading guilty to failing to provide a safe workplace.

Fifteen year old Wade Braeckman died in May 2010 after his arm was caught in a metal lathe while he was working unsupervised. Wade was dragged into the lathe, which amputated his arm. He died in hospital two days later.

“Wade died in a shocking workplace accident,” said AMWU NSW Secretary Tim Ayres.

“Wade’s death is especially tragic due to his very young age. Wade leaves behind a devastated family.

“This is a disappointing sentence. When negligence leads to death and serious injury, employers should face the full force of the law.”

NSW has laws that provide for custodial sentencing for employers who recklessly expose employees to danger, however Mr Hadfield was not prosecuted under those provisions of the NSW Work Health and Safety Act.