OSHA May Use Drones to Collect Evidence During Inspections

Miller & Martin PLLC Blog | December 20, 2018

That’s right! An OSHA drone may be coming to an inspection near you.

Back in May, OSHA issued a memorandum to all regional administrators regarding OSHA’s available use of unmanned aircraft in inspections.

The memorandum authorized drones to be used to collect evidence during inspections in certain workplace settings including areas that are inaccessible by people or pose a safety risk to personnel.

The drone program system created by OSHA applies various operations that must be followed including:

  1. The remote pilot shall pass an FAA accredited aeronautical knowledge test and obtain a remote pilot certificate;
  2. All drones must be registered;
  3. If the drone is unable to be operated under drone operations in 14 CFR Part 107, OSHA must obtain a waiver to operate;
  4. Log books must be established and maintained for both remote pilots and drones; and
  5. Any drone accidents must be reported to the FAA.

The memorandum goes into considerable detail regarding where the drone can operate, preflight operations, post-flight procedures, flight reports, record keeping, training and accident reporting.

Of particular interest to this writer was the fact that the FAA has a drone zone portal to report accidents of drones during flight. Click here to take a look at the drone zone portal.

If anyone is interested, please let me know and I’ll be happy to go into further detail regarding the procedures required for using drones during an OSHA inspection.

Contact attorney Neil Brunetz for additional information.

Tags: OSHA Inspection, Drone Zone, Drone Evidence Collection