Some employers are consenting to having OSHA conduct safety inspections of facilities with drones. In 2018, this practice was done at least nine times following incidents where worksites were considered too dangerous for inspectors to enter in person, such as a building collapse, or a combustible dust blast.
In 2018, OSHA also began exploring the option to obtain a Blanket Public Certificate of Waiver or Authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate drones nationwide. While this does not eliminate the requirement for employer consent, there are still ethical questions about how this policy may change investigations, particularly should an employer refuse the use of drones for an investigation.
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