Drones Being Used For Monitoring Construction Workers
Construction site superintendents and foremen are now using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones to monitor their employees and the progress they are making on individual job sites. This new technology allows for quick overviews of large projects and has made its way into merchant maritime ports, the construction of stadiums and miles of road repairs in real time. Ever since the very idea that a job existed, there have been those tasked with monitoring the progress of the job so that they can determine the next course of action. Despite the negative connotation associated with UAVs, the use of drones on construction sites is no major cause for concern as long as you are permitted to do so.
Any time a multi-million dollar contract is awarded, there are many interested parties involved with the successful completion of the job. Much oversight is needed to make sure that funds are being used correctly and deadlines are being met. It is not uncommon for large contractors to use flyovers for frequent updates on the progress of construction projects which are too large to be seen from the ground. Aerial photography can capture high resolution images that can allow a board of directors to determine what areas are making the most progress, which areas need some stepping up, and at what point more materials will be needed. Aerial views can provide details needed for proper placement of materials and can quickly provide a heads up whenever there are hazards or roadblocks which might prevent completion of goals by certain deadlines.
Traditional aerial photography can be costly and inefficient. In the past, many companies owned their own aircraft or would hire a pilot and a photographer to go up in a helicopter or airplane to take high resolution pictures of an area to scout for the best location of a construction project and periodically thereafter to check on the overall progress. Flights that check on the progress of job sites were dangerous, costly and sometimes unreliable. Good pilots with expensive aircraft and good photographers with limited film to expose made these jobs competitive, selective and costly. With the advent of digital photography, finding equipped and talented photographers has become increasingly easy. Now with lightweight and relatively low cost flying cameras, using UAVs at job sites has become the natural next best step.
UAVs cost very little to deploy, can capture high definition video and can get very close to the action without disrupting the environment. Drone operation is much safer than an airplane or a helicopter, as the pilot controls the aircraft from a safe distance on the ground. While a UAV has a limited amount of time in the air, the aircraft does not need to be hangared or deployed at an airport miles away. A drone can be deployed several times a day at a fraction of the cost of one deployment of a traditional aerial survey. In addition, construction companies are providing Universities with their captured data so that they can develop software which can give them real-time analysis and predictions for safety, logistics and projected goal achievements relative to the realities on the ground. As these technologies evolve, more construction companies will inevitably begin to use UAVs to their advantage.
One concern about the revelation of foremen using drones to monitor work is that of privacy. Workers are slow to accept the idea that the eye in the sky is watching their every move, ready to terminate their employment at the sight of any mistake or decrease in production. Workers may feel added pressure to get jobs done without proper attention to safety or may over exert themselves trying to prove their determination. Laborers need not worry too much though, unless they plan to be snoozing on the job. The drones are geared to monitor the actual development of large projects over time. The projects they will be used for are projects so large that they require an airborne camera in order to put things in the proper perspective and make sure that everything is placed properly and efficiently. The drones are not designed for hovering over workers to capture their interactions or for peeking into office windows, they are designed to save large amounts of money in building contracts and improve on aerial oversight that already exists.