Applications and Requirements of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASS) for Construction Safety

The unmanned aerial system (UAS), as an emerging technology that can be used as a vehicle in a variety of settings, has the potential to strongly affect safety performance. UASs can move faster than humans into inaccessible, hard-to-reach, and unsafe areas of jobsites and can be equipped with various types of sensors to transfer valuable data to safety managers and assist with onsite safety monitoring. UASs can improve safety performance in general; however, little is known about safety managers’ perceptions regarding specific safety operations or hazardous situations that can be improved through UAS use. Prompted by the growing interest in industry and academia to better understand safety managers’ opinions on using UASs in various safety-related operations, a survey study was conducted to determine (1) the effectiveness and frequency of using UASs in improving safety operations or hazardous situations, (2) ideal UAS technical features, and (3) enablers and barriers for using UASs to monitor and control onsite construction activities. The results indicated that the most important safety activities that can be improved using UASs were monitoring boom vehicles or cranes in the proximity of overhead power lines, monitoring activities in the proximity of boom vehicles or cranes, and monitoring unprotected edges or openings. In terms of the UAS technical features required for safety inspection applications, the most important features were camera movability, sense-and-avoid capability, and a real-time video communications feed. Liability and legal concerns and safety challenges were rated as the most important barriers to using UASs for construction safety applications.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01707611
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 28 2019 3:12PM