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Using unmanned aircraft systems may prevent workplace accidents

Members of the workforce in New York may be interested in learning about the extensive use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) -- or drones -- in business applications nationwide. Research by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International supports the use of drones for various purposes in infrastructure industries, construction and emergency management along with oil, gas and mining operations. In many applications, drones are used to prevent workplace accidents.

The New York-based facility of an international construction company started exploring the use of drones some years ago. The tests progressed with technology to a stage in which several applications have been identified to aid the goal of eliminating workplace hazards. The ability of UAS to photograph areas have proved to be of immense help in identifying hazards on job sites. Another advantage is the substantial cost savings that are brought about by using drones rather than specialist aerial photographers.

Any construction company can now have a trained employee deploy a drone to survey and photograph construction sites to identify potential hazards. This can be done as the project progresses and new dangers appear. A drone can access different areas of the building site at various stages -- something a manned aircraft could never do. Furthermore, rather than risking the life of an employee to enter a dangerous confined area, a drone could go in, send back images, measure air quality and provide the necessary information to make sure the necessary safety precautions are in place before sending workers into hazardous areas.

The successful prevention of workplace accidents at the sites at which drones are used may encourage other business owners to do the same. However, injuries will likely continue to occur where employers choose not to prioritize employee safety. Injured victims can pursue financial help with unanticipated medical expenses and lost wages. Workers' compensation benefits are available through the company's insurance program, and the help of experienced attorneys is available.

Source: safetyandhealthmagazine.com, "When drones fly", Kevin Druley, June 3, 2017

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