“Ιmagine a refinery General Turnaround during a pandemic outbreak: 2500 people working in close proximity, day and night, welding, hammering, cleaning and inspecting for about two months. How do you monitor HSE compliance, including COVID-19 prevention measures, while at the same time minimizing the exposure of Safety Officers to possible contamination?
The answer is by utilizing UAVs, commonly known as drones. Don’t get me wrong: the “traditional” approach is still valid. Nothing
can replace human interaction, the judgement of experienced Safety Officers and the “feeling” one gets by being side-by-side with the people doing the work. But having almost 24/7 live feed of optical and IR image can help -a lot! “Common”, free drones
have the limitation of their battery life. One can sustain flight for about 30 minutes, depending on several factors including payload weight. But this problem just goes away when you use tethered drones. Then the drone is powered by its “station” on the ground
and that increases flight time from about 30-45′ up to 5 hours. Using a 30x optical zoom optical camera and a FLIR camera you can now monitor work in progress in elevated areas, structures and wide flat spaces at the same time.
But how do you utilize this information? This requires a close cooperation of Safety, Security and the Drone Operator/pilot. When a potentially unsafe situation is observed (e.g. crowded workers seemingly without COVID FFP2 respiratory protection) the Safety Officer working hand-in-hand with the pilot informs the other Safety Officers that are your “boots on
the ground”. They in turn have to closely audit the specific work and ensure compliance -and that is an art of its own. Numbers can give an idea of the whole project: 8 pilots, 2 tethered plus 2 free drones, almost 1000 hours of flight time. But these numbers may
become less important when compared to the life and health of the workers protected by the use of this equipment. And that is what counts in the end.”
H Hellenic Drones SA ως επίσημος εκπρόσωπος της ELISTAIR SA, παρέχει
εξειδικευμένο εξοπλισμό tethered drones, για Ελλάδα, Κύπρο και για χώρες της NA