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The Drones We’re Looking For

June 16, 2022

June is National Safety Month, a time to be aware of the critical safety precautions that must be taken in all working environments, and to strive to create the best conditions for employees in every field. According to nationaltoday.com, “The National Safety Council… declared June as National Safety Month in 1996, [aiming] to spread awareness of safety hazards and unintentional injuries for industrial workers of the United States.”

The month-long holiday stems from efforts during the Industrial Revolution, as well as the late 19th and early 20th century, to raise awareness about poor working conditions in labor intensive jobs such as mining and metalworking. Many risked their lives daily for pitiful wages, and though reparations were slow going, many groundbreaking acts, laws, and committees have been created to ensure the safety of labor workers.

However, construction sites consistently remain one of the most dangerous places to work. As Andrew Wahl of topshotap.com points out, OSHA conducted a study and found that “there were 4,674 worker fatalities in 2017. 20.7% of those fatalities were construction related, most of those being due to falls.” Faulty equipment, unstable structures, and inadvertent clumsiness all contribute to workplace mortality in the construction industry, but up-and-coming technology may provide a new breakthrough in safety.

Drones are becoming a popular potential solution to reduce workplace accidents in construction zones. While the utilization of drones to improve various services is nothing new, the effort to use them in construction has recently gained momentum.

Wahl states that, “Large construction sites are difficult to oversee, especially using traditional on the ground tactics. Due to time constraints and the complexity of the sites, it is difficult to monitor everything that is going on. You can use drones with live streaming capabilities to work with construction management in real time and paint a better picture of the entire site.”

With this round-the-clock monitoring, all conditions for a construction zone can be evaluated and acted upon immediately, alerting workers of incoming poor weather, inadequate structural stability, gas leaks or other hazards, and many more possible safety concerns.

Drones can also be used as initial employee training tools, to “illustrate when workers do things incorrectly on the job site and then show them a visual representation of what should be done next time… companies can be watching in real time using a drone’s live streaming capabilities and you can radio to whoever is in a dangerous spot and help correct the behavior or you can have a video and share what you see with the whole team.”

Keeping watch for hazards, simplifying tasks, and training on the go are just a few of the many benefits construction drones serve, and the age where these little robots become commonplace in the construction field may soon be upon us, introducing a new step towards safety.

Capitol Tech offers many opportunities in occupational health and safety, construction management, and unmanned and autonomous systems, where students can develop, maintain, and implement methods to make construction areas safer environments for every employee. To learn more about these programs, visit captechu.edu and check out the various courses and degrees offered. Many courses are available both on campus and online. For more information, contact admissions@captechu.edu, for Undergraduate, gradadmit@captechu.edu for Master's programs, and doctorate@captechu.edu for Doctoral programs.