By Cass Jacoby.
In Season 4, Episode 66 of the Roofing Road Trips podcast, Heidi J. Ellsworth meets with Susan Eccles, special council for Adams and Reese to talk about drone regulations. Drone technology has taken off in the past few years, and it seems like everyone knows at least one person who owns a drone, so it is only a matter of time before one of your employees brings a drone to the site. However, while taking drone footage of a project may yield some cool videos, it also opens your business up to a host of liability issues.
Susan specializes in the legalities of drones on the construction site, from how to get started to regulations to privacy and pilot licensing. She knows that drone usage comes with many benefits for roofers and is passionate about helping businesses start to adopt drone usage the right way.
“Getting new technologies on construction projects is exciting. And for the roofing industry, I think it's a great way for roofers to assess and evaluate the current roof on the property, without having to send someone up on a roof, that could potentially be a hazard,” says Susan. “It's exciting and we want these drone programs to grow, but done right, with a licensed drone pilot as a member of your team.”
In the hands of licensed pilots, drones can significantly reduce project costs, document site conditions, reduce insurance costs for construction defect coverage, and can improve workforce safety. On the other hand, an unlicensed pilot can wreak havoc.
Her recommendation for those looking to start using drones? “Meet with your counsel, and let's talk about building out a drone program for your company,” says Susan. “It's really an entire program, and you can start small with your agreements when you're outsourcing. But then as you grow and you develop it internally, how does this impact your safety plan? And when you have meetings, we need to address...Placing signs on the job site, just building out this program to tie in with the various other safety program and job protocols that you already have in place, that the drone will touch on.”
Listen to the podcast for more insight on how to start adopting drone usage and for more information on the legality of drones on the jobsite.
Cass works as a reporter/writer for RoofersCoffeeShop, AskARoofer and MetalCoffeeShop. When she isn’t writing about roofs, she is putting her Master degree to work writing about movies and dancing with her plants.
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