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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


https://doi.org/10.33573/ujoh2024.01.054

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.

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