How drones improve safety on site

Written by
Brooke Hahn
January 11, 2023

One of the most important considerations for operations teams, whether in the construction, mining, asset management or even insurance industries, is improving onsite safety. And one of the best emerging technologies that’s helping companies the world over take their safety management to the next level is drone technology.

If you’re looking for an affordable, practical and scalable way to bring your occupational health and safety management to the 21st century, it’s probably time to start considering how drones can help you.

The Importance of Improving Safety on Site

Workplace injuries present many, varied and significant costs for companies. Whether it’s workers’ compensation payments (and the insurance premiums related to it), medical costs, lost productivity or even reputational damage, safety (or lack thereof) is a very important consideration. 

There are a number of reasons why investing in improving safety is important.

Financial Cost

The cost of workplace injuries can be crippling for a business directly and indirectly. It’s not just if something goes wrong and you’re required to compensate workers. Ongoing insurance premiums are only increasing over time and this drain on cash flow can be significant. Relatively small financial investments in improving safety today, for example with drones, can help save a lot of money down the line.

Regulatory Requirements

There are a variety of occupational health and safety regulations in Australia. These laws require employers to provide workers with various safety measures and ensure workplaces are free from hazards and risks wherever possible. Apart from avoiding injury and harm, improving safety will ensure your company is 100% compliant with the appropriate authorities.

Legal Repercussions

In some cases, injuries in the workplace result in costly lawsuits. The details of the legal repercussions will vary from situation to situation, as does the cost, but it is always better to avoid potential issues with improved safety.

Ethical Obligation

Lastly, but not of least importance in any way, is the ethical obligation. Businesses in all industries should take onsite safety seriously and ensure a safe, healthy work environment for all employees. This ethical obligation is not just good reputationally, but is also important morally. 

How Drones Can Help Improve Safety

So, where do drones come in when it comes to improving onsite safety?

1. On Site, Real Time Monitoring

As an operations manager, you’re likely no stranger to the importance of real time monitoring. In days gone by, instant onsite monitoring has been costly and difficult to do. Drones, deployable from safe locations, can be equipped with sensors and cameras to monitor conditions on just about any worksite. From keeping track of assets and workers to identifying potential safety hazards before any accidents take place, this access to live monitoring is unprecedented and invaluable. What’s more, that data can then be visualised within platforms like Birdi for effective decision-making.

2. Fast Deployment

Agility and flexibility in a business can be critical. If a problem arises and your operations management team needs to be onsite near instantaneously, drones can help you get there. Fast and nimble deployment allows you to attend a workplace without physically being there yourself. For industries operating in less accessible areas, such as mining or even construction, this can potentially be life saving. 

3. Safe Asset Inspection

One of the harsh ironies of workplace safety is that inspecting hazardous areas, equipment or sites can pose a health/welfare risk in and of itself. With remotely manned drones you can inspect just about anything and everything without worrying about your own safety. Drones can be further customised depending on the particulars of your application to make them more resilient in the face of hazards that are too difficult or dangerous for a person to access.

4. Safe Working At Height

Working safely at height is of high importance! Whether your workers are building a skyscraper or need to assess the damage or functioning of a tall asset, drones can help you ensure your workers’ safety. In some instances, the drones themselves can do the work or inspection while employees remain safely on the ground. In other instances, drones provide key supervision and monitoring while workers carry out their duties at height.

5. Data Gathering

We live in an information-saturated world but when it comes to improving operations, the more data the better. Drones allow for the capturing of vast swathes of information not just more speedily and easily, but more safely! Deploying drones to capture the data that used to have to be gathered manually means that more of your team can remain in the safety of your headquarters or onsite office and carry out their duties without concern for their safety. 

Of course, with Birdi, once you have all the information, footage or images you need, you can visualise all of the data directly in our platform for key insights and decision-making.

Instead of sending workers into potentially hazardous situations, organisations across a range of industries are improving their safety on site with the use of drones. We definitely recommend the uptake of drone technology to ensure safer workplaces, and what’s more, if you don’t have the capacity to fly drones yourself, our drone pilot network can fly for you!

Brooke Hahn
Brooke has been involved in SaaS startups for the past 10 years. From marketing to leadership to customer success, she has worked across the breadth of teams and been pivotal in every company's strategy and success.

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