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Why Contractors Should Nix Casual Use of Jobsite Drones


For good reason, drones are a big topic in construction. They promise to ramp up the speed and efficiency of surveys, inspections, mapping, monitoring, security and other tasks, and can help the industry make progress on an even more critical front as well — workplace safety.

As OSHA statistics make clear, falls continue to be a concern in the construction sector: Of the 971 deaths on construction sites in 2017, falls were implicated in 381. Drones stand to save lives by eliminating the need for in-person inspections in high or otherwise dangerous places.

But as contractors, subs and other stakeholders embrace on-site use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), they should pay close attention to the safety and liability risks that can be associated with this technology as well. Given that a backhoe loader can have a max operating weight of 25,000 pounds, some construction pros might dismiss the dangers of a 13-ounce quadcopter made of plastic and carbon fiber. Nonetheless, those risks are real.

Read the full article in Construction Dive here.