Leading infrastructure and resources company Fulton Hogan has shifted into high gear in its focus on health and safety with the introduction of the latest in driver simulator technology.
The company has purchased a pair of state-of-the-art simulators capable of re-creating a range of conditions including night driving, sudden road obstructions and weather conditions including wind, rain, fog and snow.
The simulators will be transported around the country, from Northland to Invercargill, so the company’s 3,800 New Zealand-based employees can broaden their on-road skills.
Fulton Hogan CEO Robert Jones says the initiative is part of the company’s drive to continually lift its game on health and safety.
“With more than 3,000 vehicles on New Zealand roads, our fleet is one of the biggest in the country,” Mr Jones said. “Making sure that our people are safe behind the wheel is non-negotiable for us, and this innovative technology will give our drivers greater experience and awareness.”
The simulators, designed by Simworx are equipped with a wrap-around triple-monitor setup, realistic graphics and provide force-feedback through the steering wheel.
“These simulators allow our staff to gain valuable and realistic experience driving in difficult conditions without actual risk,” Mr Jones said. “This lets us take great steps in our goal of ensuring all of our 3,800 staff are safe on the road, both for their own benefit and for the community.”
The road safety initiative has gained the support of ACC, ERoad, the New Zealand Police, the New Zealand Transport Agency and Worksafe New Zealand.
EROAD’s CEO Steven Newman said it was exciting to see a company of Fulton Hogan’s stature taking the lead in promoting safe driving training.
“New technology has a major role to play in the transport sector’s success in improving the safety of New Zealand roads,” Mr Newman said. “We’re very pleased at this opportunity to support Fulton Hogan’s innovative approach to training.”
New Zealand Transport Agency Chief Executive, Geoff Dangerfield, has also voiced his support for the initiative.
“The NZ Transport Agency is committed to a safe workplace – we want all of our people, including contractors delivering our projects, to go home safe and well every day, no exceptions,” Mr Dangerfield said. “As part of this, we’re committed to creating a Zero Harm culture – a systemic real-world approach to health and safety – not only within our own organisation, but across the wider roading industry.
“We’re very pleased to support Fulton Hogan’s investment in the safety of their people and the wider community.”
The simulator training programme began at the start of October, with the two simulators travelling to Fulton Hogan sites across New Zealand.