Quarry managers face new safety rules on the use of drones

Quarry managers in the United States using drone technology face new rules designed to improve safety standards. Two leading US safety-standards developers are joining forces to help drone users operate as successfully as possible.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and ASTM International (the American standards and testing body) have “signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support a joint working group of about two dozen top experts in public safety and drone technology.”

This group, which first met Feb. 23, is working to create “use-case scenarios” to help meet needs of law enforcement, search-and-rescue teams, emergency medical services personnel, and firefighters who want to use drones in various operations.

“Innovation in drone technology is driving the demand for technical standards, training, and certification for first responders,” said NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley. “Through the experts in this new group, we hope to see new benchmarks, use-case scenarios, and performance criteria to help professionals use drones to be more effective in their jobs.”

ASTM International President Katharine Morgan says: “I’m excited about the potential for this new group to align efforts of various stakeholders and to build a technical foundation that empowers people on the front lines.”

The working group, says ASTM, “is comprised of representatives from ASTM International’s unmanned aircraft systems (F38) committee, its search-and-rescue committee (F32), and its subcommittee on response robots (E54.09) as well as the committee that created NFPA 2400 (Standard for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Used for Public Safety Operations).”

According to Morgan and Pauley, the group would serve as a key resource for various global efforts related to drone standardisation. For more information, please go to: www.astm.org

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