The Confined Space Regulations 1997 and the 2005 Work at Height Regulations both state that avoidance is always the priority wherever possible – avoiding entry into any confined space and avoiding working at height. However, removing the risk to humans of doing work in dangerous environments is not always possible and when avoidance cannot be achieved, there is a hierarchy of controls that should be followed:
- Risk assesses
- Control measures
- Safe system of work
- Emergency arrangements
One of the control measures that can now be used in such situations are internal inspection drones – and over recent years, they have been used successfully in many challenging industries such as chemicals, cement, power generation, warehouses, infrastructure and utilities, mining, oil and gas, amongst others.
All these industries undertake a range of maintenance operations that are in confined spaces or at height and need to be conducted in a safe manner – but also as economically as possible to reduce downtime.