You are using an outdated browser. For a faster, safer browsing experience, upgrade for free today.

Improvement of working conditions assessment and risk calculation methods taking into account the specific features of pesticide application with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)

ISSN 2223-6775 Ukrainian journal of occupational health Vol.20, No 1, 2024

Improvement of working conditions assessment and risk calculation methods taking into account the specific features of pesticide application with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)

Borysenko A.A., Antonenko A.M.
Hygiene and Ecology Department of the Bogomolets National Medical University

Full article (PDF), ENG

Introduction. The implementation of modern technologies in the agriculture of Ukraine, such as the use of UAVs, has great potential for revolution and ensuring the country's food security. Considering the fact that the use of agricultural drones is a fairly new phenomenon in the agricultural market of Ukraine, the need for legislative foundations for their use is very high. The absence of appropriate rules and regulations, that would regulate this activity can cause a dangerous effect on the peoples’ health, animals’ and plants’, and can cause a negative impact on environmental objects.

The aim. Improving the methodology for assessment of working conditions and risks calculation, taking into account the peculiarities of applying pesticides using unmanned aerial vehicles.

Materials and Methods. Analysis of literary sources, results of field and laboratory experiments, computer modeling of the process of spraying the pesticides solution during the processing of agricultural crops, statistical processing of the obtained results - were used during the adaptation of sustainable approaches to assessing the working conditions of workers involved in working with pesticides.

Results. It is suggested that the following features be taken into account when calculating the risks for workers carrying out processing from the air with the help of UAVs:

1) the absence of a ground support group: a signalman, and sometimes a refueler (therefore, it is necessary to provide an opportunity to calculate the risk for the refueling operator);

2) locating the agrodrone operator at a distance from the treated field (on the launch pad);

3) the volume of the working solution;

4) the height of the flight over the crop and the duration of treatment.

Mandatory parameters that must be taken into account when calculating risks are the consumption rate of the working solution, the volume of the tank, the capacity of the agricultural drone, the drops size (type of nozzles), the movement speed, the height of the drone flight and the spraying width, meteorological conditions during treatment (humidity and air temperature, wind speed and direction, solar radiation intensity, etc.).

Conclusion. Additions to methodological recommendations on risk assessment and mitigation for workers applying pesticides from the air with the help of unmanned aerial vehicles are proposed. This will provide a more correct assessment of the professional risks associated with the use of this technology. This approach contributes to the creation of a more complete and balanced set of recommendations for UAV operators, which as a result ensures the safety, efficiency and sustainability of the use of this technology in agriculture.

Keywords: occupational risk, agrodrone, chemical plant protection products, ultra-low-volume application, working conditions.


  1. Tsouros DC, Bibi S, Sarigiannidis P G. A review on UAV-based applications for precision agriculture. Information. 2019;10(11):349. DOI:
  2. Mogili UMR, Deepak B. Review on application of drone systems in precision agriculture. Procedia computer science. 2018;133:502-9. DOI:
  3. Nduku L, Munghemezulu C, Mashaba-Munghemezulu; et al. Global Research Trends for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Remote Sensing Application in Wheat Crop Monitoring. Geomatics. 2023;3(1):115-36. DOI:
  4. He X. Rapid development of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for plant protection and application technology in China. Outlooks on Pest Management. 2018;29(4):162-7. DOI:
  5. Velusamy P, Rajendran S, Mahendran RK; et al. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in precision agriculture: Applications and challenges. Energies. 2021;15(1):217. DOI:
  6. Wachenheim C, Fan L, Zheng S. Adoption of unmanned aerial vehicles for pesticide application: Role of social network, resource endowment, and perceptions. Technology in Society. 2021;64:101470. DOI:
  7. Wang G, Han Y, Li X; et al. Field evaluation of spray drift and environmental impact using an agricultural unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sprayer. Science of the Total Environment. 2020;737:139793. DOI:
  8. Qin W, Chen P. Current Research on Deposition and Drift of Droplets Sprayed by Plant Protection UAV. Version: 1. Research Square [Preprint]. 2023 07 Mar [cited 2023 Mar 30]. Available from: DOI:
  9. [Study, assessment and reduction of the risk of inhalation and percutaneous exposure of pesticides to persons who work with them or may be exposed during and after chemical protection of plants and other objects: Methodological recommendations ]. Approved by order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine No. 324 (May 13, 2009). Kyiv: Ministry of Health of Ukraine; 29 p. Ukrainian.
  10. Borysenko AA., Shpak BI., Omelchuk ST; et al. Hygienic evaluation of the most common methods of agricultural crops treatment with chemical protection products (literature review). Medicni perspektivi. 2021;26(3):19-25. DOI:
  11. Borysenko AA, Omelchuk ST, Bardov VG; et al. Comparative hygienic assessment of working conditions and occupational risk in the application of pesticides (on the example of fungicide amistar extra 280, sc) using different types of sprayers. Wiadomości Lekarskie. 2021;74(3 Pt 2):726-30. DOI:
  12. Borysenko A, Antonenko A, Omelchuk S; et al. Ecological and hygienic assessment and regulation of innovative technology of pesticide application using unmanned aerial vehicles. Rawal Medical Journal. 2022;47(1):213-16. Available from:
  13. Borysenko A, Tkachenko I, Antonenko A. Comparative hygienic assessment of working conditions and potential risks for workers’ health when applying pesticides in different technics. In: Technology transfer: innovative solutions in medisine: Proceedings of the 5th Annual Conference; 2021 Oct 28; Tallinn, Estonia. 2021. 6-8. DOI:
  14. Borysenko AA, Antonenko AM, Omelchuk ST; et al. Professional risks when applying pesticides using unmanned aircraft: features and comparative hygienic assessment. Medical Science of Ukraine (MSU). 2021;17(4):102-7. DOI: