Construction professionals across the globe have been turning to drones to take on a broad range of tasks. Drones have the potential to prevent injury, reduce time spent gathering data, and are becoming a crucial tool for production, planning, and logistics.
In terms of preventing injury, according to a recent Usability Assessment by Georgia Tech, being able to fly around a job site with a drone can improve the efficiency of a manager in charge of safety by up to 50%. Innovative safety solutions are essential in Canada as over 40,000 workers are injured at the job site each year in fall related accidents alone.
In the province of Ontario, approximately 80 workers are injured in a fall everyday. That’s one every 20 minutes! In fact, 34% of injuries and work-related deaths (whether it’s merely centimetres or hundreds of metres) have resulted from falls. Such accidents have led to large fines and/or jail time for employers. In one case, an Ontario roofing contractor was fined $10,000 and spent 90 days in prison when a worker fell 21 feet because he did not have a fall-arrest. By utilizing drones we can greatly reduce the risk of workplace accidents by keeping the crew on the ground.
When it comes to data collection drone technology can greatly aid crews by providing precise aerial measurements. Images of the construction site can be used for production planning, and logistics. Such detailed images can help to generate 3D models within a BIM application. Land surveys and thermal imaging take much less time with a drone, and maps can display detailed trenches and contours that traditional surveying often cannot easily provide. Booking an aircraft for a land survey can take weeks and can cost over $10,000. While a drone can arrive in 24 hours and is 200 times faster than traditional methods.
Thanks to recent improvements in technology, drones have become essential tools within the construction industry. Whether it’s helping to protect employees and prevent injuries in the workplace, keeping stakeholders updated with aerial images, conducting surveys, or even performing security duties, drone applications are truly endless.