It has been brought to our attention that the new PokémonGO game craze (which has been all over the news) has reached some of Field Services projects & site offices.
From our limited understanding & research, PokemonGo is a location-based reality game where players make use of cell phone GPS & cameras to capture Pokémon “creatures” who appear on their device as though in the real world. ‘Gyms’ or ‘PokeStops’ are created which causes players (sometimes in large crowds) to congregate at a specific location in the hopes of capturing a Pokémon. Players have been spotted ignoring traffic and running red lights as well as congregating in various locations. It has been reported that people have been seen on job sites and field office parking areas, all in the name of catching a Pokemon.
As you can imagine, the unexpected arrival of unaware or inattentive people on job sites can pose a safety risk to not only the players of this game but to workers as well. Some key safety concerns include but are not limited to:
• Unexpected groups of people wandering on job sites – creates hazards of members of the public falling or being struck by equipment and workers making unexpected movements or changes to work to in attempt to avoid incidents.
• Distracted driving – as game players travel to sites and ‘hone in’ on PokeStops.
• Security concerns – more people around work areas presents a greater potential for site equipment to be stolen or vandalized as well people on site after hours presents a risk of injury. Please ensure your vehicles and offices are secure.
• Potential violence in the workplace situations – asking or attempting to remove people could result in potential conflicts. Should a situation like this arise disengage from the situation and call the Police.
• Hazards to Workers playing PokemonGo – some workers may decide to play PokemonGo during work, which could have unfortunate consequences. https://www.osg.ca/are-you-prepared-to-deal-with-pokemon-go-in-the-workplace/ we need to remind workers of the appropriate time and place to engage such activities.
We are reaching out to personnel for three reasons:
1. To advise everyone to keep an eye out for people entering into restricted or unsafe areas.
2. Advise Field Services Safety, and Managers, of any PokemonGo activity on your job sites or around your offices.
3. Remind workers of appropriate ‘play time’ outside of work and work sites, for those who wish to play PokemonGo.
We will send out further information once we know more about any concerns, impacts and mitigative strategies.
(This communication came from a municipality from the South but the information applies to the Yukon as well)