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Using Drones for Safety Inspections

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Can drones be used for certain OSHA safety inspections?  Some experts and companies believe so.  Safety expert John Newquist performed a mock OSHA safety inspection and posted it on Youtube, seen below.  Newquist notes a potential violation in the video, can you spot it?


Potential violation: “The roofing flag[s] are too close to the parapet. So the issue is whether the parapet is 42 inches high would be asked to the general contractor.”

As seen in the video, drones could offer advantages such as reduced inspection time, less risk for inspectors, and footage from angles that were previously inaccessible.  However, regulations set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), weather conditions, operating difficulty, and the cost of the drones all pose threats to their future use. 

Still, more and more companies are applying for commercial use of drones.  The FAA recently announced that it has approved over 1,000 applications from companies in various industries to operate drones commercially.  This will be an interesting topic to watch as more companies receive approval, drone technology improves, and the costs decrease.

If you have any questions regarding this topic or would like to tell us what you think about the use of drones both commercially and for inspections, please email us at

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