Every year, 150,000 accidents take place on construction sites across the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These accidents cost businesses a significant sum of money, with estimates coming in at $13 billion every year. While having the appropriate commercial construction insurance can mitigate some of these costs, construction sites should start using technology in the form of drones to better protect their construction workers and safety on their construction sites as a whole.
Avoiding dangerous structures
The BLS reports that the most common accidents that occur on construction sites are falls. These falls most often result in injuries to the back and trunk of construction workers which can lead to extended time off work, expensive compensation, and even construction projects falling behind schedule.
When drones and drone inspection software are used in place of humans, a thorough check of the site can be completed from the sky. This eliminates the risk of falls as the drone will show workers on the ground exactly what they’re dealing with so that they can take the necessary precautions, such as erecting scaffolding and wearing a safety harness when they do have to step foot onto the structure.
Transporting equipment safely
Tools and equipment are a big part of a construction site, but they can put workers at risk of injury as transporting them from one place to another can cause back pain, especially if lifted incorrectly. This is why drones are increasingly being used to move tools and pieces of equipment to where it needs to be.
As drones aren’t the compact gadgets that they once were, there are plenty of different sized drones that can be utilized on construction sites, no matter how big the equipment is that needs to be moved or how much of it there is.
It’s even possible to transport drones from site to site effortlessly, to aid the transportation of equipment. Certain preventative measures should be taken if traveling by air, for example, such as packing the drone securely in a hardy case. As long as strict safety procedures are followed including removing the batteries and turning it off, construction site managers can ensure that the physical health of all the workers on their national and global sites is protected.
Eliminate human error
Up to 80% of workplace accidents happen as a direct result of human error. Human error is recognized as being more likely to happen when repetitive tasks are performed which, on a construction site, may include anything from measuring up a site to physically building a structure.
Using autonomous drones on a construction site is a particularly beneficial way to remove this human error risk. As drones are programmed to adhere to strict rules and protocols, they produce accurate and exceptional results each and every time, without putting anyone or anything on the construction site at risk.
An effective surveillance tool
Construction sites are appealing to thieves due to the high value of the tools and equipment that are typically stored on them. Figures show that up to $1 billion worth of equipment is stolen from work sites every year, and just 25% of the equipment stolen is ever recovered. The good news is that Commercial Property insurance for tools and equipment is easy to obtain and will mean stolen items are quickly replaced, but it’s worth taking action to retain them in the first place.
As thieves are so keen to get their hands on these goods, they’re prepared to do anything to get them, and this means the safety of on-site workers is constantly at risk. Using drones to keep an eye on what’s going on in a construction site is highly recommended as they are far superior to the traditional surveillance cameras many worksites install.
Their high-quality camera, ability to fly over a building and into the tightest corners, means a 360-degree view can be obtained at all times. Not only does this deter thieves from targeting the worksite, but it means workers are safeguarded at all times.
Reduce exposure to toxic materials
One of the biggest risks construction workers face on the job is exposure to toxic and hazardous materials, such as asbestos. Depending on the size of the site, assessing the site by foot can expose workers to dangerous toxins for days or even weeks. Thankfully, drones can be used to reduce the amount of time that workers spend around dangerous material.
In addition, when sensors are attached to a drone on a worksite, they can alert workers to a gas leak or spillage of a harmful chemical. This, therefore, means appropriate clean-up action can be taken and workers will avoid being subjected to the injuries and health concerns related to chemical exposure, such as respiratory difficulties. As a result, there won’t be any need for the site’s Workers Compensation insurance to be utilized as all workers will remain in good health.
Monitor worker behavior
Despite construction sites having strict health and safety regulations in force, more and more workers fail to follow on-site rules. 98% of professionals who attended the American Society of Safety Engineers conference in 2010 said that they’d witnessed workers not wearing the appropriate safety gear on site.
Routinely deploying drones is a good way to keep track of employees and ensure that they are following health and safety guidelines. When a worker is spotted not wearing their hard hat, for example, a senior member of staff can swiftly speak to them to get them to put it on immediately, thus reducing the likelihood of a head injury occurring. Frequent breaches of health and safety as witnessed via a drone should result in re-training and, if necessary, disciplinary action, for the sake of their safety and all other workers.
Drones are clever pieces of technology that are capable of overhauling the safety on construction sites across the country. By regularly using drones on worksites, they can cut the number of accidents that occur, reduce compensation payouts, and cut back on equipment losses.
Author Bio: Amy Fletcher is a freelance writer and researcher with a keen interest in business management. In recent years she has written for various online magazines, journals, and blogs. When she's not writing she enjoys long walks with her daughter and two dogs.