According to a memo sent out in May 2018, OSHA has been utilizing Drones or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for inspections of construction sites. Drones allow OSHA to observe these sites that would normally be deemed as unreachable or dangerous areas for a human inspector. This also will allow inspections to be more detailed, so more violations may be spotted. With privacy as a concern, OSHA will have to report the drone inspection to all parties that are involved in the project ahead of time, and have to be granted consent to use a drone.
There are still questions concerning these OSHA drones including:
- How the flight records are stored
- Who will be able to access these reports (i.e. competitors)
- What if an employer does not allow a drone report
- Since an employer is allowed to have a representative accompany a normal ground inspection, how will this occur with a drone
- Will an employer be permitted to fly his/her own drone together with OSHA’s drone
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