How Drones are Improving Safety on Construction Sites

As drones become prominent on construction sites across the globe, conversations about the risks of the new technology continue to arise. It’s oftentimes difficult convincing risk-management experts within an organization, that drones will not expose the company to any safety mishaps, but rather improve the safety practices.

But according to industry reports, in construction sites where Drones have been introduced, there were fewer safety concerns. Unmanned aircrafts made workflows safer for workers, and thus safer for the company. Here’s how:

Inspections

DJI Inspire 1 - Used for Inspection on Construction Sites ($999)

One of the earlier needs for aerial images on construction sites was achieved by attaching a high-quality camera to the aircraft and streaming the resulting video to someone on the ground. In this manner, a trained inspector can achieve the same results as they would if inspecting an object directly while removing the need to put themselves in a situation where they could be harmed or killed in the event of a fall.

This capability alone makes drones an attractive proposition for construction and engineering firms, insurers, and regulators who each need to perform frequent and thorough checks to ensure that proper protocols are being followed and that structures are safe and constructed according to standards. In addition, the video recorded by a drone’s camera is viewable to anyone in the chain of command, increasing the transparency of such operations.

Scaffolding

Yuneec H520 Commercial Drone

Falls from scaffolding lead to dozens of deaths each year. Ensuring that scaffolding and other safety measures are safe with a visual inspection is vital to protecting the safety of workers and insulating the company from liability. With a drone, it’s simple to check that all boards are in place, inspect fastenings, and do so without sending an employee into a precarious situation. Of course, drones can sometimes eliminate the need for scaffolding entirely, such as when inspecting the walls of a building.

Windows

Windows on tall buildings are difficult to inspect, especially when they don’t open from the inside. A drone can fly close to windows without the need to put a human worker on a ladder, scissor lift, or suspended scaffold. With this close vantage, it’s simple to check for cracks in insulation, weather-stripping, or damage to the glass itself.

Windows also suffer damages during construction due to their fragile nature. So in the event of a leak, to find and isolate the source of the problem becomes a herculean task. A drone is not only cheaper and safer in executing this, but also helps preserve the window frame wherein only a repair is needed instead of a complete removal.


In all of these cases, drones represent a means of conducting inspections in a safer and less expensive fashion, making the process more efficient and allowing for more frequent inspections. This makes structures safer and saves the company money in the long run by heading off potential issues before they become significant problems.