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How to Make Construction Safer With Drones


By Jonathan Hegranes

It’s no surprise that drones are becoming a common sight in the world of construction. They are a versatile tool that can be used by managers to map, plan and keep track of progress, while also providing supplementary material for presentations and clients. But apart from the speed, convenience and quality of aerial imagery, introducing drones to a construction site comes with a number of safety benefits.

Drones are as agile as you allow them to be

Drones are an adaptable solution. A single unit is capable of performing a number of tasks that once would have required large teams and/or expensive equipment to carry out. Of the many safety benefits that result from their use, the most obvious is replacing the need for these measures. Inspection crews no longer need to be put at risk.

As well as being safer, drones are a lot more efficient than conventional inspection, mapping and modelling methods. A drone’s agility and versatility allows it to be used on an ongoing basis. Construction managers and safety crews can schedule regular flights with ease and watch footage in real-time. In addition, the same missions that gather data on stockpiles or general progress may flag up concerns that could only have been spotted from above.

This ability to perceive threats from above adds a layer of insight that wouldn’t have been possible a few short years ago. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why construction managers are beginning to use the aerial perspective to their advantage.  

On a construction site, this level of agility offers real-time data that goes deeper and wider than before. The more up-to-date managers are on working conditions and potential hazards, the faster they can act to ensure any risks don’t lead to problems further down the line.

Bringing objectivity to construction safety

Despite rules and regulations governing safety on construction sites, many decisions still have an element of subjectivity to them. Aerial footage provides clarity where and when it’s needed. The information comes in a standardized format that leaves no room for confusion or mistakes.

Instead of relying on the testimony of a single worker, managers and safety teams can watch and rewatch footage from multiple perspectives before making more informed decisions.  

Improving safety from above

Although safety may not be the primary driver behind the decision to deploy drones on a construction site, there’s no doubt they can help to protect workers through all stages of a project. As builds grow in complexity and scale, having an eye in the sky empowers managers to spot risks before they develop into serious problems. Regular inspections can be automated, providing round-the-clock peace of mind and invaluable data from a unique perspective.   

Jon Hegranes is the CEO and co-founder of Kittyhawk, the platform that unifies the mission, aircraft and data to empower safe and effective drone operations.

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