When drones are mentioned in media reports these days, they commonly come with a negative connotation. After all, they have been criticized for causing near disasters with commercial airliners, and are seen as the prime example of the erosion of privacy in our society. Nevertheless, there is a growing need for drones when it comes to construction site safety.
Essentially, a growing number of contractors are using drones to make safety inspections. Cameras mounted on drones can be the eyes for an inspector safely on the ground. As such, this can reduce the need for inspectors to climb to great heights on cell phone towers, to inspect high scaffolding on buildings that are under construction, or navigate other dangerous structures. Basically, by having “eyes in the sky” through a drone, the potential for deadly falls can be lowered.
Because of this, more companies are seeking federal exemptions so that drones can make critical inspections. In fact, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expects there to be more than 500,000 drones across the U.S making such inspections in the next four years. This may be a critical, yet monumental step in workplace safety given that falls are the primary cause of death in the construction industry. Across other industries, falls are the number three cause of death.
The growing popularity of making inspections with drones does not relieve contractors of their obligations to ensure the overall safety of a construction site. If you have been injured on a construction site or have concerns over a contractor’s adherence to safety rules, an experienced workers’ comp attorney can advise you.