Career Story: Dave Page
Aug. 29 2019
I left the armed forces just over four years ago and saw an engineer surveyor role at Bureau Veritas as an ideal career opportunity. I had a lot of experience doing engineer auditing so knew that I was equipped with the technical knowledge to excel within the role and the business.
Bureau Veritas’ fundamental ethos of ensuring the delivery of safety being behind everything that they do was (and remains) something that is really appealing to me, especially while I was looking for employment. Similarly I could see quite a few of my contacts had moved on from the forces into similar roles; which was also something that drew me to the company.
I deliver thorough examinations within the crane discipline for our clients, ensuring they remain compliant with current safety regulations and standards. I am currently a PATH level two team trainer and the Deputy Area Manager; I enjoy the responsibility that comes with these roles and value the experience that I have gained. Travelling and visiting a wide range of client sites is a fundamental part of my role. I find this both interesting and enjoyable, as I get to see a lot of different engineering environments, and it was also another key advantage of taking the job as no day is ever the same.
Drone technology is a fantastic solution to overcome difficult inspections. The best example I can give of this is when we were faced with particularly challenging crane track inspection which, if left incomplete, would have had an extremely detrimental effect on our client’s production levels. Cooperating with the client we explored a variety of options until the technical department raised the option of utilising drones which seemed a natural solution and the best option from both safety and access perspectives.
Our technical knowledge, paired with the expertise of the drone operator allowed him to provide some great angles and shots. While using this technology will never be the same as inspecting with your own eyes, the drones were without a doubt a great asset during this inspection, providing certain lighting and angles that we would not have been able to get otherwise. As the whole inspection was also being recorded the image quality was phenomenal, allowing me to see in more detail than if I was inspecting with my own eyes, and clarifying things that maybe would have challenged me before.
One of the significant benefits that I touched on before would be the safety to us, the engineers. Although we should never put ourselves in a potentially hazardous situation and as a matter of course apply our Take 2 dynamic risk assessments, the first question is always can the risk be eliminated by removal, for the engineer the answer now is yes, by using a drone.
Drones provide the ability to reach areas that may not have been accessible by using the engineer access equipment, again ensuring safety and client compliance. In addition, the whole inspection is recorded allowing us to pause, review and revisit footage whenever we want and in more detail due to the high quality of the shots. It is a tool that enhances our inspection and skill set, and certainly one that should be firmly sat in our arsenal. This technology has also been very well received by our clients. The client with the challenging crane track inspection mentioned before, was extremely pleased and asked if we could utilise drones for their other challenging access inspections as well. Success indeed.
Yes definitely! The potential opportunities within the business for the use of drones seems to me to be wide and varied, from checking structures such as roofs, taking smaller drones into bigger machinery like automated retrieval systems to the inspection of large dock cranes. When we begin to ask what this technology could be used for in the inspection industry specifically, it becomes increasingly clear that the question becomes focused on ‘What can’t you use drones for?’ as there appears to be endless applications and opportunities.