Cameron Minshull died Tuesday, the Manchester Evening News reported. He started working at Zaffar Engineering in Bury in the Manchester area a few weeks ago.
The national Health and Safety Executive and Greater Manchester police are investigating the death.
Officials said he suffered lethal head injuries Tuesday morning when he was dragged into the industrial metal lathe. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The teenager lived in Bury with his parents, a brother and two sisters. He was the oldest of the siblings.
"Cameron was one of the nicest lads you could ever meet," a friend, Charlotte Whittle, wrote in a tribute on Facebook.
"Loved by so many people and never failed to lighten up the room. He made so many people happy."