Research + Tech

CPWR warns of safety concerns regarding drone use in construction

Researchers from CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Training recently analyzed the behaviors of 153 participants with construction experience in a virtual construction site regarding drone use, according to

The study’s findings show working with or near drones “reduces the attention workers devote to the task at hand, which could result in falls when they are at height.” Workers operating while drones were 12 feet and 25 feet away looked away from job tasks more frequently than when drones were 1 1/2 feet and 4 feet away.

Researchers also found working with drones at any distance contributes to significant psychological and/or emotional distress because workers may feel they are constantly being monitored and fear being struck by a drone as they work in high-risk environments at height.

To help ensure safe use of drones in construction, CPWR advises employers to:

  • Train workers, especially because there currently are no specific Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines regarding use of drones on construction sites. It is key to educate workers about drones and familiarize them with working alongside drones, and CPWR suggests virtual reality training.
  • Design drones to limit the frequency and severity of risks they pose to workers and minimize crash impact.
  • Prepare job sites to ensure drones work efficiently and safely around workers, accounting for factors such as drone size and shape, flight path and weather conditions.

CPWR also suggests scheduling tasks so employees are not working in areas in which drones are operating and only using drones for operations that provide significant benefits compared with traditional work methods.

Half of companies lack budget necessary to mitigate cybersecurity risks

A recent study conducted by the Neustar International Security Council, Reston, Va., revealed only about half of companies have the budgets necessary to meet current cybersecurity requirements, according to Conducted in autumn 2022, the survey involved 304 senior professionals in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Less than one-third of IT and security professionals said their cybersecurity budgets would remain the same in 2023 and 6% of respondents expect their budgets to decrease. Of those, 44% said the budget stagnation or cuts will expose their businesses to more cyber risk, the study showed.

More major businesses in the U.S. and abroad are cutting budgets because of the uncertain economic environment. High-profile companies including Alphabet, Amazon and Microsoft have recently announced thousands of job cuts.

“Macroeconomic issues are driving down spending across all sectors, and the way a lot of leaders are handling it is by cutting across all programs without careful consideration for where they’re making their cuts,” says Carlos Morales, senior vice president of solutions at Neustar Security Services.

The study showed four in five executives believe leaders at their organizations understand the existing threat levels, but more than two-thirds of respondents agreed constraints on their budgets would limit their ability to respond to the threats.

Sixty percent of respondents said the most current risk is the rising sophistication of cyberattacks. More than half of respondents also are wary of the rising number of attacks.

Long-term hybrid work, where employees work from home several days per week, has added to long-term cybersecurity risks for companies. Geographically widespread deployment of workers has made it more challenging to secure the workplace from outside threats. Morales says companies increasingly are turning to managed service providers to provide cloud-based security.



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