3 Ways Drones Provide Efficiency and Rooftop Safety
Derek Tokarz • Certified in Safety Management Group's Training in Fall Protection
Rooftop safety in the future may involve less actual time on the roof, possible due to drone technology and an explosion in use.
Questions remain about privacy in residential areas, but general industry has high expectations for efficiency, cost savings, and safety. Many companies are exploring various ways drones can be integrated into daily work, including those in:
HVAC: inspections and maintenance
Insurance: inspections and estimates
Facilities: surveillance, mapping and disaster recovery
Asset Management: maintenance and security
Communications: towers and antenna inspections
Oil and Gas: detecting and locating leaks
First Responders / Firefighters: collecting information, planning disaster recovery
Jobs performed in elevated circumstances, welding and drilling: reducing fall hazards
Adoption is high: right now “20,000 drones are registered for commercial use” but next year could see 600,000. By 2020, 2.7 million drones could be integrated into industry, according to The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration NEWS.
Because they use remote-controlled cameras, drones enable difficult-to-access areas to be viewed from multiple angles. The imagery, which can include infrared and X-ray, is valuable for teams that need to assess mission critical or remote equipment and must decide how to allocate resources and time in the field.
Though various industries see unique potential for drone use according to application, all see the benefit for and from the roof. Here are a few ways you might use drones for rooftop work:
Prepare for the project.
You’ll know what’s really up there without having to do a physical rooftop inspection. Surveilling the site with drones gives the team eyes on the space, so it’s easier to spot issues requiring repair and possible hazards. Workers will be more prepared and can be more efficient executing with the insights gained from drones.
Monitor multiple projects at a time.
Trips to work sites can be more focused when day-to-day status is monitored from one central location. Drones give project managers, like general contractors and architects, more visibility into progress. Having to spend less time on each site while still receiving the same information frees them up to focus on other aspects of the project.
Confirm safety protocols and execution.
Minor safety violations occur often on rooftop jobs, especially when the work–or the process of gathering information–is expected to be quick. Details, however, are part of what keeps workers safe. Employers and project managers are better able to stay on top of infractions, gauge effectiveness of current safety methods and make safety and process adjustments by occasionally monitoring the site.
Do you have effective rooftop safety equipment and an optimal setup for the work you do? Kattsafe can help; we provide a variety of modular options, including fixed ladder systems, temporary safety systems and guardrails.