Have you protected your worksite from Rattata yet? How about Pidgey or Staryu?
Who? They’re just a few characters from Pokémon Go, the augmented reality game craze that’s got people showing up at PokéStops in all sorts of random places, hoping to track down Pokémon characters on their mobile devices. With more than 30 million users (more than 20 million registered users in the US alone), the game takes players out into real world locations, including retail stores, office buildings, train stations and even construction sites.
As an independent, third party risk management consultant firm, this immediately raises a red flag for us relative to worksite safety.
There have already been instances where players wandered into construction sites in search of the elusive Pikachu and other characters. The game underscores the importance of safety procedures to keep workers and the public safe. But, a number of recent headlines show people putting themselves in harms’ way while completely engrossed in the game. Read The Danger of Pokémon Go! from the General Building Contractors Association (GBCA).
Potential hazards at an active construction site for Pokémon Go gamers could range from a pedestrian wandering onto the site looking for their character and falling into a hole; to a preoccupied construction worker having an equipment accident that could injure him or her, other workers and cause damage to the structure/site itself.
Any of the above puts your business at risk for potential lawsuits, workers compensation claims, financial loss and reputation damage.
Here are some things you can do to ensure your site is safe:
- Verify your site security at all times
- Keep gates closed and locked
- Make certain that fences are erected and well maintained
- Surveillance cameras on job sites; along with security patrols, as needed, particularly in areas where the site borders public space, are crucial
- Extra care is needed with your traffic control around sites, particularly when construction equipment is entering and leaving
- Remind drivers and operators to pay extra attention and be alert for distracted pedestrians
- Reinforce prohibitions on mobile device use by worker on job sites and in company vehicles and equipment (younger workers, especially, are a key demographic for Pokémon Go)
- Make certain that warning signs are current, in good condition and easily viewed
As with other game phenomena, Pokémon Go may fade as quickly as it burst onto the scene, or it may be just the beginning of a whole new level of augmented reality gaming. Either way, proper site procedures and standards will certainly stand the test of time.
Contact us to request more information about The ALS Group or for assistance with managing your construction risks.