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Drones in Action: Aerial Safety Assessments in Height Work

In the world of height safety, technological developments have revolutionised working at heights. One of these advancements, in particular, drones, has emerged as a powerful tool for enhancing safety measures and as a result, has enabled a range of height safety operations that were never possible.  

 

The use of drones in height safety

Unsurprisingly, drones offer a bird’s eye view of sites, enabling inspectors to assess structures, buildings, or other elevated sites, without the need for workers to work at heights. In fact, those relatively small buzzing flying robots come with a range of benefits and drawbacks for height safety engineers and their teams, and in this month’s blog, we’re going to take a look at exactly what they bring to the height safety industry.  

 

The benefits of drones

Obviously one of the main benefits of drones is the enhanced safety they provide, given there is no need for people to physically access hazardous or dangerous work zones. They can also significantly reduce the costs associated with traditional inspection methods, such as the need to hire specialised access equipment or services. Not only can they cover large areas quickly and access hard to reach places, but they can also collect high resolution imagery and sensor data, which in turn enhances decision-making in safety management. They are also advantageous when it comes to revealing any biological or structural hazards associated with a site that could affect a worker’s performance. Finally, they can cover all aspects and areas of a site, including interiors and exteriors.  

 

The drawbacks of drones

Pending the purpose or location of the site, drone usage may be subject to strict regulations and licensing requirements, which can result in long delays. Within Australia, there are strict guidelines in place regarding the operation of drones for financial gain and in many cases, operators need to obtain a remote pilot licence or operator’s certificate. They also have relatively limited flight times, due to battery life constraints, with the average drone able to fly continuously for a twenty-minute period, which can reduce their effectiveness on large sites. Drones are also affected by adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain or strong winds and their technical limitations, such as flight stability, can impact their suitability for specific tasks.  

 

The future

Although there is little doubt drones have changed the way height safety operators approach hazardous work sites, it is important to acknowledge their limitations. However, as technology continues to evolve, drones will no doubt continue to play an integral role in height safety operations, improving both risk management strategies and making the workplace a safer place for everyone.  

 

Want to know more?

If you’d like more information on how the team at Kerrect can help with your next project or have any questions about our height safety practices and projects, get in touch with Kerrect today.

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