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The Dark Side of the Drones: A Review of Emerging Safety Implications in Construction

10 pagesPublished: June 9, 2021


The construction industry has experienced a significantly rapid integration of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), (known as drones) within multifarious construction applications due to their prevalent stature in accessibility, reliability, accuracy, and low-cost. Given the dynamic nature of the hazard-prone construction sites, the rapid proliferation of UAVs potentially incorporates additional operational complexities, hazards, and associated safety risks. These safety implications are emerging in the absence of construction-specific UAV-standard guidelines and strategies for effective risk mitigation. Despite the remarkable benefits, UAVs can expose workers to a wide range of unwarranted workplace hazards, especially when operating around densely populated construction sites. This study aims to (1) explore the current understanding of the UAV-associated safety risks and (2) identify the potential risks to which construction workers are exposed. Collisions with workers and properties have been found to be the key safety risks of UAV adoption. In this context, due to the scarcity of studies, there is a substantial lack of construction-based safety understanding relevant to UAV applications. It is expected that the industry professionals and practitioners can benefit from the presented information to effectively address the safety risks and develop appropriate control measures to ensure safe operation by preventing accidents.

Keyphrases: Construction Safety, hazard, safety risk, UAV, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

In: Tom Leathem, Anthony J. Perrenoud and Wesley Collins (editors). ASC 2021. 57th Annual Associated Schools of Construction International Conference, vol 2, pages 18--27

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Mohammad Khalid and Mostafa Namian and Carol Massarra},
  title     = {The Dark Side of the Drones: A Review of Emerging Safety Implications in Construction},
  booktitle = {ASC 2021. 57th Annual Associated Schools of Construction International Conference},
  editor    = {Tom Leathem and Anthony Perrenoud and Wesley Collins},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Built Environment},
  volume    = {2},
  pages     = {18--27},
  year      = {2021},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2632-881X},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/x3vt}}
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