Once associated mainly with military use, drones have gained popularity among civilians in recent years, both for recreational use and across a broad spectrum of professions. In 2017-2018, drone use increased over 100% in a multitude of industries, but their use in construction blows them all out of the water with a 239% rise.
Worldwide companies like Balfour-Beatty infrastructure group based here in the UK, and US based Shell Oil, have utilized drones successfully in on-site inspections, communications, and marketing. Shell’s team at the Bacton import terminal on the east coast implemented gas-sensor equipped drones in stack and oil rig inspections, all without shutting down the facilities. It is just this type of efficiency that is making the “eye in the sky” an invaluable tool at the construction site.
But drones aren’t just for the big (really big) guys. Smaller independent companies have caught on, and now construction drone use is widely cited as one of the best ways to stay competitive in the construction market.
Alright, I’m listening.
The use of drones on your site isn’t just about jumping on the bandwagon and staying edgy. It’s about safety and efficiency, getting the job done incident-free and on schedule. If you’re in management or administration, you know all too well that safety affects the bottom line. Injuries and, at worst, fatalities, affect lives and families first and foremost, and from the angle of the job, they also cost days of work. Timeline extensions, worker loss, litigation, a company’s reputation–all are at risk when word spreads that you don’t meet your deadlines or that site safety is not one of your company’s top priorities.
In the UK and the US, recent statistics show that over 20% of work related fatalities occur in the construction industry. Construction drones help to reduce those numbers.
How do drones assist with safety and schedule issues on site?
- Reduce need for climbing during building/roof inspections, regular maintenance, and progress checks. Armed with cameras, communication relays, measurement tools, among other options, drones can quickly record images, dimensions, and video footage, instantly relaying real-time data–no scaffolding or tie-offs required.
- Size and agility allow drones to access places workers cannot safely reach–towers, tight crawl spaces, potentially compromised structures, etc.
- Drones can capture real-time footage to show site and risks during safety inductions/training, replacing dated, broad-stroke videos with specific and relevant material.
- With thermal scanning features, drones can detect hot/cold spots (think energy conservation, trapped moisture, structural damage) in building or human presence on site (security
Sold. Our company will just buy one and start flying it.
While recreational drones are readily available and not extremely complex to operate, the construction drones that will launch your projects forward, like those we use at Tonomo, are sophisticated and perform top-notch when paired with software and accessories specific to your site needs. Translation: let the drone pros help with the drones.
The increasing prevalence of UAV’s has roused a host of laws and regulations in regard to their use. Not just anyone is permitted to pilot a construction drone. If an incident occurred in the air while you or an employee piloted your drone without a licence, let’s just say that the consequences could delay your project inevitably. Drone regulations actually vary from country to country, as well. Tonomo can help you navigate those variations.We have CAA licensed pilots to make the best use of the drones and keep your site safe and within regulations.
Operating a smooth-running construction site means you are overseeing, both literally and figuratively, thousands of moving parts. Utilising construction drone services can help you narrow your focus, optimise productivity and safety, and ultimately increase profit margins, helping you stay at the top of your game.