July 14, 2020

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July 13, 2020

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OSHA’s Drone Initiative

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) drone initiative has taken off. What does that mean for your company? Currently, OSHA can only use drones for inspection activities with permission from employers. However, that could leave you in an uncomfortable position if you deny OSHA’s request to use a drone for its inspection. How should you then handle it? If an employer allows OSHA to use drones for its inspection, the employer should be involved from the very beginning –the employer should assist with the development of the flight plan, designate the visual observer, and get a written agreement from OSHA that all data and photographs collected by the drone will be shared with the company.

In 2018, OSHA used drones with cameras to conduct at least nine inspections of employer facilities, mainly in conditions that were otherwise dangerous for the inspector. The use of drones for this purpose has continued this year, and the use of drones for these OSHA inspections will likely continue to increase, which will raise some novel issues for employers.

Copyright © 2020 Robinson & Cole LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 213


About this Author

Kathryn Rattigan Attorney Cybersecurity Data Privacy

Kathryn Rattigan is a member of the firm's Business Litigation Group and Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team. She advises clients on data privacy and security, cybersecurity, and compliance with related state and federal laws. Kathryn also provides legal advice regarding the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS, or drones) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. She represents clients across all industries, such as insurance, health care, education, energy, and construction.

Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Compliance

Kathryn helps clients comply...