New technology bringing safety to life

INNOVATIVE: Taking the technological world by storm is managing director of The Boiler Room Mark Hocker.


WORKPLACE safety training might not have the most exciting reputation, but one man has made it his mission to bring it to life.

Born and bred in Coffs Harbour, Mark Hocker is breaking innovative ground with new technology that is changing the way companies and their employees think about training and safety.

Now based in South Africa, Mark recently launched his own company that uses a range of technology – including virtual reality head-mounted displays – to show the consequences of incorrect actions in the workplace.

“South Africa has 11 official languages and animation tells a story which other media can’t,” he said.

“Ninety to 95% of our content is visually based, so even if content doesn’t have a script or audio, people are still able to understand its message.”

The interactive computer-generated content is already being used in the mining and resources sectors, with clients including BHP, Rio Tinto and Anglo American.

While his company Boiler Room Production is run from South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg, Mark credits his early success to his upbringing 11,000km away in Australia.

After graduating Orara High, he studied computer animation and programming in Sydney and forged an early career in animation.

But after catching the travel bug, Mark made tracks for the world and found his feet in South Africa, where he became a pioneer in introducing 3D computer animation to the country.

Already an award-winner for his work, Mark’s achievements also include creating animation departments for the South African military, police and other governmental institutions.