Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Details on Tragic Clinton Hill Construction Worker Death

January 31st, 2008 · 5 Comments

525 Clinton

There was a fatal accident yesterday at a 13-story building under construction at 525 Clinton Avenue. A worker plunged 13 stories to his death when scaffolding collapsed and another was seriously injured. A third worker was unhurt. Brownstoner had both an early report and a follow up yesterday. An early eyewitness report said a worker had been blown through a window, but the Department of Buildings later reported a scaffolding collapse. The accident happened at 10:15 AM and the victim, Jose Palacios, was a resident of Astoria. He and other workers were applying stucco to the building. There was a high wind advisory in effect during the day and the Department of Buildings had issued an advisory to building projects in the city to take appropriate safety measures. Here is DOB’s email about the accident:

Earlier today, Buildings inspectors and engineers responded to emergency calls about a pipe scaffold collapse at 525 Clinton Avenue in Brooklyn. Upon inspection, Buildings engineers and inspectors determined a three-frame pipe scaffold installed on the roof of the new building under construction had collapsed. Sections of the pipe scaffold collapsed onto the 2nd floor and 12th floor setbacks of the new building under construction.

Preliminary reports indicate three workers on the pipe scaffold were performing stucco work on the exterior of the rooftop bulkhead at the time of the incident. The workers were employed by a sub-contractor, Bell Tower Enterprises, retained by the general contractor overseeing construction of the new building, Clinton Court Development LLC. Buildings forensic engineers are investigating to determine the cause of the collapse. While preliminary reports indicate high winds may have contributed to the collapse, Buildings forensic engineers are looking into whether the scaffolding was secured to the roof and the rooftop bulkhead.

The Stop Work Order on the building indicates the collapse was due to the scaffold not being properly secured and the high wind. The building has had six violations in the past. We posted a video of loud Sunday construction work at the building several months ago. Mr. Palacio’s death was the third fatal construction mishap of the year.

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Tags: Clinton Hill · Construction Issues

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 my2 cents // Jan 31, 2008 at 8:52 am

    How many more have to die?
    When will we finally see a class action law suit against the City and the DOB?
    They want to tax us to go into Manhattan while they throw hundreds of millions at developers who don’t pay , the proper taxes or insurances.
    If I am not mistaken – about 200 years ago we had a revolution because of just this kind of taxation and lack of representation.
    WAKE UP!!!!

  • 2 Anonymous // Jan 31, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    All of the workers injured or killed were non-union workers. Many of them were non-skilled illegal aliens. It is now the norm in the construction industry to cut costs by hiring these workers who they can easily exploit by making them work in unsafe conditions that a skilled union worker would report to their union and the DOB. It is not that immigrants are doing work that Americans don’t want to do, it is that they will do the work for next to nothing and put their lives on the line while doing it. These developers should be jailed for hiring and exploiting illegal aliens.

  • 3 Anonymous // Jan 31, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    So is Bloomberg gonna make the same comment he made last time a worker died about this being the “price of development” and that construction workers should “expect” these things to occur in their line of work? I wish I could find the exact quote because when I heard it come out of his mouth, I was horrified, but ultimately not surprised. How sad that these people look at the death of a human being as just another expense in their race to make more money…

  • 4 Anonymous // Jan 31, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    That alert most likely did not make it to those subcontracters… all for another ugly glass tower.

  • 5 Ajlouny // Feb 27, 2009 at 12:21 am

    There has to be an answer on how to make work sites safer. More regulations, maybe a protective harness.