Health, Safety and Media | Drone Inspections and Site Surveys

Drone Inspections and Site Surveys – A look at Media in Health and Safety.

With guest contribution from Lucy Walsh, Managing Director. Crystal Clear Compliance Ltd.

Health and safety, internal communication

I usually blog about visually creative media, however during the recent pandemic, we have seen an increase in use for media services that enable business to function efficiently without human contact. One of the impacts in the post-pandemic world is sure to be an increase in businesses using technology to showcase venues, train staff or survey premises. This month’s blog is an insight into drone inspections and site surveys and the benefits of using drone for health and safety requirements. I usually spend my time blogging about the visually artistic uses of media but this blog delves into the work we do for businesses on site inspections and surveys. Not as pretty, but nonetheless essential! I have enlisted health and safety expert Lucy Walsh from Crystal Clear Compliance to contribute for her expertise on asbestos. This blog will give advice on health and safety responsibility and the benefits of drone for investigation.

Site Surveys and Drone Media

Scaffolding for drone inspection and site survey

Drone site surveys are performed in almost every industry that needs visual inspections and before Covid was becoming the preferred method of visual survey. Businesses are beginning to realise and understand the benefits of including drone inspection within their annual maintenance and repair budgets.  Surveying with a drone makes it possible to carry out topographic surveys of the same quality as highly accurate measurements collected by traditional methods but in a fraction of the time and cost. There are many advantages to using a drone to collect visual data:

  1. Reduced Risk: Inspectors do not have to be put into potentially dangerous situations.
  2. Reduced Cost: Significant savings are made in not having to build scaffolding or other temporary infrastructure to support a manual inspection.
  3. Reduced Downtime: For assets that need to be shut down for an inspection to be performed, every second of downtime means a loss of revenue. Using a drone makes turnarounds more efficient.
  4. Increased Safety: Given the relatively low cost of drone inspections, companies are able to perform inspections more regularly, this means potential problems can be addressed quicker.

The Future:

Image Source:

Drones although still in their infancy in terms of mass adoption and usage, are likely to continue to improve processes across a wide range of industries from Agriculture to Construction and are rapidly being adopted by new industries to speed up and make processes more efficient. On the 31st July 2020, EHang launched a firefighting drone for high rise fires. (Link to Ehang Drone ).  And Amazon has developed a future delivery system designed to get packages to customers within 30 minutes of ordering. (Link to Amazon Prime Air) The capability of drones to reach the most remote areas with little to no manpower needed and requiring the least amount of effort, time and energy is one of the biggest reasons they are being adopted across the world.  Drone can increase work efficiency and productivity, decrease workload and production costs, improve accuracy and resolve security issues on a vast scale, these are some of the top uses drones offer industries globally.

Read this article fro Bloomberg News to understand how drones help keep people safe.

I asked Lucy Walsh from Crystal Clear Compliance if she could give some advice to businesses on some of the reasons visual site inspections are needed.

Guest Contribution from Lucy Walsh:

Lucy has been a health and safety, quality and environmental professional for over 25 years. Lucy started her career in the construction industry and has also spent time in warehousing and distribution. As Managing Director of Crystal Clear Compliance she offers everything from accident investigations to a fully integrated Health and Safety, Quality or Environmental Management System, from Asbestos Surveys to what is required in terms of Water Treatment and Management , Risk Assessments to Training.

Business headshot for crystal Clear Compliance

Asbestos: The Why?

“Asbestos causes around 5000 deaths every year. While it is no longer used it can still be found in houses, factories, offices, schools, and hospitals built before the year 2000.

As a duty holder you will have a duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises.

So who is a duty holder -It can depend on the agreement but in generalThe duty holder is the owner of the non domestic premises or the person or organisation that has clear responsibility for the maintenance or repair of  the non-domestic premises, for example through an explicit agreement such as a tenancy agreement or contract.

As a Business What Do You Need To do?

Step 1 – Find out if the building has Asbestos (was the building built or refurbished before 2000? if Yes assume Asbestos to be present, If not then no action required) 

Step 2 – Assess the condition of the Asbestos ( Assess the amount and condition of any ACMs, or presumed ACMs in the building to tell you how likely they are to release asbestos fibres into the air) For areas hard to see ( roof panels etc a drone could carry out a survey safely)

Step 3 – Organise a Site Survey and Sample for Asbestos. Have a suitably trained person conduct a survey to identify ACMs. Have the materials analysed to prove if asbestos is present, and what type it is. You may choose to employ a suitably trained person to do a survey of the premises to identify ACMs, particularly if you are planning maintenance or refurbishment of the premises or installing wiring or pipework/ ducting. The survey should identify what types of ACMs are present, where they are and what condition they are in.

Step 4 – Keep a written record or register – With the information from the survey you will need to draw up an Asbestos Management Plan and Risk Assessment.The plan and written record will require you to write down the ACMs you have found, where they are and their condition. Record the roles and responsibilities for managing asbestos in your organisation

Step 5 – Act on your findings. This plan is there for you to share with employees and include passing on your asbestos register to any worker/contractor carrying out maintenance work on your property. Assess the potential risk from the ACMs – how likely are they to be disturbed?and draw up a priority plan for action. Areas of asbestos must be clearly labelled.

Step 6 -Keep your records up to date. As with all risk assessments they need to be reviewed and updated. Regularly reinspect any ACMs in your premises and update your records. Monitor and review the effectiveness of your action plan.”

Lucy Walsh.

drone image of site inspection an survey

Firetree Visual Media Drone for Site Surveys

At Firetree we work with a wide range of industries to support their media requirements. If you would like information on the work we can do for site inspection and survey, please get in touch.

Link to contact Firetree Visual Media.

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