Industrial work settings like construction sites or mines are known for having inherent risk to employees, and it is a high priority for leaders in those settings to ensure their teams are as safe as possible. Luckily, over the years, technology has advanced significantly to allow for safer industrial operations, and workers can minimize danger by turning to those innovations.
One of the most important technologies that has emerged for industries like mining, aggregates, construction and insurance is drone-based surveying, powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Autonomous drones allow for a more comprehensive analysis of operations by being able to go places that human operators safely cannot, and they can provide a birds-eye view of an entire site with minimal effort. When integrated with a cloud-based platform like Kespry which allows for even more advanced capabilities like image analytics and machine learning, the drones are even more powerful for a business and can enhance productivity and efficiency tenfold.
This efficiency is important, but the safety aspects are even more so. Below are several industry examples of how drones can ensure safety in various settings by keeping employees on the ground and away from danger.
Measuring Aggregate Stockpiles
Measuring stockpiles has historically been a laborious task for those in the mining and aggregates industry. Without incorporating drones, workers have to physically climb atop each stockpile and gather measurements manually. Not only is this significantly slower than with drones, it is also a high-risk activity to get injured on the job.
Stockpiles can be made up of unstable material like fine sand or gravel, and any misstep could lead to injury. With drones, however, workers don’t even need to get near a stockpile to make accurate measurements. They can simply fly the drone over the piles to gather images then analyze those images in the cloud with machine learning in the comfort of their office or vehicle.
Those in the insurance industry, whether commercial or residential, understand the difficulties associated with roof inspections. After a major storm season or in the wake of a catastrophic event, insurers must send their team out to assess the damage more closely. The standard way of doing this is by sending a worker up on the roof of the property. While they are typically harnessed when doing this, there is still risk of mis-stepping or falling.
By incorporating an automated drone program, insurers can stay in the front yard of a property and inspect the roof safely from the ground. This has in fact proven to be very beneficial during the global pandemic because it naturally abides by social distancing standards and customers don’t have to worry about interacting with the workers or letting them into their home.
Assessing Quarry Water Levels
Another dangerous setting for those in mining and aggregates is around the edge of a quarry. A quarry’s edge is often changing and can be very rugged – making it hard for a worker to maneuver. Rather than walking the perimeter and risking a fall, a worker can launch a drone to take the measurements. While the images the drone takes are critically important, the cloud-based software that does the analysis is even more so.
Since drones have been introduced to industrial settings, improvements on both the productivity and safety sides of business have been immense. While they may seem like a capital investment upfront, autonomous drone programs are invaluable to keep workers happy and safe while saving the business time and money.