NEW ZEALAND – Fonterra, a multinational dairy co-operative has partnered with the Beca Group, an employee-owned engineering and management consultancy service company to launch a health and safety technology.

The new VR technology enables employees to navigate the company’s manufacturing and distribution sites without necessarily having to make on-site visitations, in the long run saving on time.

According to Fonterra, it replaces a portion of the former hands-on health and safety training which is regarded to be costly and less effective.

According to Andrew Cowie, Project Manager for Beca, the technology is the future of health and safety training and can be easily replicated in other workplaces and training areas.

It’s one of the ways Fonterra has devised to help in in fulfilling its corporate governance responsibilities relating to Fonterra’s management of key risks, including strategic and operational risks, through Fonterra’s risk management process.

The cooperative’s staff can undertake virtual health and safety training in a more convenient way by replicating the physical environment of the sites.

It will also allow employees to learn about and identify potential hazards more quickly, making it possible to engage even more engaged employees and better workplace safety.

“Walmart now trains using VR, American footballers are using it and so is the military.

Our clients are increasingly interested in the application of VR technologies and the value it can add to their businesses.

“In this case, using VR for training is ideal as it is effective whilst being both cost and time efficient.

The reality capture for these training tours is done easily with a handheld camera and the VR simulation works via a smart phone using a simple cardboard headset,” said Mr Cowie.

The technology is said to offer a safer learning environment and enables a strong familiarisation of sites, reducing risk for Fonterra employees.