Thanks to the wide diffusion of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), geomatics solutions have actively contributed to the field of safety enhancement and disaster risk reduction, supporting rapid mapping and documentation activities of the damages that have occurred to heritage buildings after natural disasters (such as earthquakes) where, in this scenario it is even more important to plan and execute disaster assessment and response operations in safe conditions. In fact, the planning and execution of technical countermeasures in a seismic emergency response involve higher risks for the safety of the operators as compared with responses related to the activities performed at non-critical construction sites. After an analysis of the state of the art, this study aims to underline the possibilities offered by the use of UAVs for performing safety-related tasks, both at post-disaster and non-critical construction sites. First, a survey has been conducted concerning the main user expectations and characteristics that an ideal UAV platform should have in order to perform safety-related tasks at construction sites that are created following the initial emergency phases. The answers that were obtained have been compared with similar studies retrieved from the literature validating previously conducted research. The legislative context is also considered, as it is an important factor that influences the applicability of these platforms and technology. Along with a method for assessing and mitigating the intrinsic risk of using an UAV, the results of a survey submitted to experts in the field of safety at construction sites is also discussed, intending to identify requirements of the ideal platform and the related user expectations. The results are reported, together with a summary of considerations on the use of these strategies in the analyzed contexts.
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