roof inspectionIn 2022, 76% of employees in the United States say that they feel as though their employers are taking appropriate measures to protect them in terms of safety on the job.[1] But what if you didn’t have a boss or company to protect you? What if you had to take matters into your own hands and ensure that, while on the job, you are safe and protecting yourself from unnecessary risk. Right now, 60-70% of home inspectors are self-employed.[2] This means that, even if they have health insurance to cover any potential injuries, being hurt can end their career or, worse, their life.

Whatever the driver, it is simple common sense that if you can avoid safety risks while on the job, you should. For home inspectors, this means leveraging drone technology to get the best footage and image of properties with your feet safely on the ground.

And it’s not just falls that make home inspection a dangerous business. Injuries related to falls–such as heart attacks that lead to a fall–are some of the other risks that inspectors take. Using a drone also eliminates the need for ladders for other high locations. Drone use increases safety during large commercial building inspections (such as warehouses) and reduces fear for inspectors overall.

Safer roof inspections

Many inspectors will argue that there is nothing more accurate than feeling a roof; that it takes all of your senses to truly know the quality of a roof. But at Drone Hangar, we have such expert command of drones that we know that it does not take falling through a sagging or soft roof to know the roof is sagging or soft. Drones can be an extension of your own senses. Not only does falling force many inspectors into retirement after an accident that may break bones or cause irreparable damage, and inspectors have even died on the job from falling. Improperly constructed decks and balconies can collapse and cause severe injuries. And it doesn’t just happen on tall roofs; in fact, 40% of falls that end in death are from ten foot high or less.

All of this is true for even the most basic of roofs. But all roofs are not constructed equally. Many roofs are old, poorly constructed, wet, icy or exceedingly steep. Specifically walking on wood roofs, clay roofs, or metal roofs can add to the risk because of their slippery nature. Further, there are almost no inspectors who wear fall protection devices like harnesses, since OSHA does not require it.[3] Drones remove all safety concerns related to scaling roofs and eliminate the need to assess the situation, scale ladders and put yourself and your business at risk.

Reduced ladder and scaffolding use

inspector on ladderIt’s not only roofs that are high and pose risk to home inspectors. Many home inspectors use various types of ladders, most concerningly extension ladders outdoors. According to OSHA, ladders from extension falls are the fourth leading cause of casualties across all construction-related careers.[4] From gutters and eaves to high windows, soffit and fascia, home inspectors have to ensure that stories above the ground level are safe and in good condition.

Further, many home inspectors work alone, meaning that they have no one spotting them or holding a ladder at the bottom for them. Finally, home inspectors who are not fully versed on all OSHA standards may not know that there are various standards for different types of ladders [5] that are only rated for certain weights and uses. If an inspector is not applying the proper ladder best practices to their inspections, they raise the risk of falls.

In terms of commercial inspections, such as in warehouses and large enterprise buildings, scaffolding may be used to inspect high-level HVAC systems, electrical work and the structural integrity of the trusses. Scaffolding presents major risks for inspectors. OSHA says that the top four being falls from elevated heights, scaffolding collapses, being struck by falling objects and electrocution if someone comes into contact with overhead or exposed power lines. [6]

Drones remove any need to climb ladders or scale scaffolding in order to inspect a building fully and accurately. If you can do your job as an inspector as well (or better) and remain safe, it’s difficult to understand why one would choose not to.

Reduced fear for inspectors

Ironically, one of the biggest catalysts to being injured while performing home inspections is the inspector’s own fear, formally called fear of re-injury. Fear of reinjury can not only delay returning to work but can also be a key factor in actually being injured again. For home inspectors who have fallen, been injured, or known someone who has been, the fear can cause the inspector to be distracted by their fears, causing them to lose focus and, coincidentally, injure themselves again due to unintentional carelessness.

This negative-feedback loop can be mitigated entirely with drone use. As a home inspector, you’ll be able to focus fully on your task at hand, providing the best possible images and videos for your client, without putting yourself in harm’s way.

Getting Started with Drones for Your Home Inspection Business

If you are a home inspector looking to begin applying drone technology to your business, The Drone Hangar is ready to help you. Not only are our team members experts in the drones themselves and can help you select the best drone for your use case, but we also stick with you as you learn. We can provide maintenance, teach, guide, troubleshoot and support your drone business.

Reach out to us to get started today. In the meantime, follow our blog for more great information about using drones for your next business venture.

[1] 2022 Workforce Trends: Worker Safety Reshapes Workplace (adp.com)

[2] Should You Work for a Home Inspection Company or Be Your Own Boss? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself (homegauge.com)

[3] Fall protection during roofing inspections, investigations, and assessments | Occupational Safety and Health Administration (osha.gov)

[4] Construction Site Safety – Using Extension Ladders Safely | Safety Counselling

[5] Which Home Inspection Ladder is Right for the Job? – Sunset Ladder & Scaffold Blog

[6] Common Accidents Involving Scaffolding | Dreyer Boyajian LLP