Drones stand to bolster both safety and efficiency in the construction business, but casually flying them over job sites carries liability risks that are often underappreciated, LeClairRyan aviation attorney Mark A. Dombroff advises in an opinion piece for constructiondive.com. “Given that a backhoe loader can have a max operating weight of 25,000 pounds, some construction pros might dismiss the dangers of a 13-ounce quadcopter made of plastic and carbon fiber,” writes Dombroff, an Alexandria, Va.-based member of the national law firm and co-leader of its aviation industry practice group. “Nonetheless, those risks are real.” In the April 10 column “Why Contractors Should Nix ‘Casual Use’ of Jobsite Drones,” the attorney notes that a higher volume of drone flights over construction sites inevitably translates into a greater risk of accidents and regulatory violations. The industry has already seen at least one crash involving a drone flying over a construction site: In 2018, a survey pilot in the U.K. reportedly flew a 3D Robotics Solo drone into a crane.
However, Dombroff says, harder-to-anticipate events also become more likely as the number of flights increases. “In March, a man in Forest Park, Ga., was electrocuted after trying to use a metal pole to dislodge a drone from a tree,” the attorney writes. “It is not difficult to imagine a similar tragedy occurring at a construction site where a drone could snag on exposed rebar or end up in some other hazardous spot.” And while direct injury from a lightweight photography drone might seem unlikely, Dombroff cites a federal case in which a bystander at a wedding was partially blinded by a drone.
Source : unmanned aerial , dronezon
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