Future(p)Roofing for the Construction Industry

Future(p)Roofing for the Construction Industry

22nd November 2016

Here at Safety Fabrications we take a keen interest in construction industry news here in the UK and around the world.  One of the areas we concentrate on is the roofing industry – after all, we fabricate safe access ladders, work platforms and other access solutions specially designed for roofs.  We’ve already taken a look at drones in the past and outlined how they’re likely to be increasingly in use in the construction industry where they can eradicate some of the hazards involved in accessing roofs and other high spaces for inspections. 

One roofing company in the UK has risen to the challenge and secured funding from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to train five “pilots” to fly drones to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) standards.  This is a pilot project (do excuse the pun, please) to gain insights on the potential of using drones, not just for roofing applications, but across the construction industry as a whole.

At present the drones are being used to complete roof surveys and identify faults such as material failure or water ingress.  Using a drone to undertake this initial survey is one method of eliminating the need to work at height, as advised in our stringent health and safety legislation here in the UK. 

While using a drone to carry out a roofing survey reduces the risks considerably, are there any other benefits to using drones for this type of work?  Well, it turns out that there are a few:

·         It can save a great deal of time as it eliminates the need for a risk assessment to be undertaken and method statements to be produced. 

·         Another area in which the use of a drone saves time is job preparation.  Without the need for access equipment, ladders or other access equipment won’t have to be transported to the site, checked for safety and set up before the work can even begin.

·         Moreover, using a drone means that roofing surveys can be “mass produced” in effect.  One drone can record and measure a whole street of roofs ten times more quickly than using traditional inspection methods. 

·         There is also the fact that a drone operative doesn’t need to be a roofing expert.  The drone pilot just needs to record the images captured and transmitted by the drone and download them so that they can be reviewed by an experienced and qualified roofer at a later time.

Another benefit of the rise of the drones is that it could attract more youngsters into the construction and roofing industry.  The idea of training as a drone pilot will seem pretty cool to some teenagers which could lead to the roofing industry becoming a much more attractive (and less risky) career choice.  Flying a drone is also a skill that youngsters are likely to find easy to pick up as they’re used to video gaming and are likely to already possess many of the skills they need. 

The construction industry as a whole is changing as its sectors are taking advantage of new technology and solutions that can combine to offer interesting careers in the coming years.

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