There’s no doubt that people are going crazy about Pokemon Go, the insanely popular augmented reality game. Pokemon Go has been downloaded by more than 30 million people since its launch in early July. Pokemon Go’s huge popularity provides one more compelling reason to be certain that your Workers Compensation Insurance policy is current. On the surface, Pokemon Go and other augmented reality games may seem like good, clean fun. Actually, players and innocent bystanders are getting hurt as a result of the game. Be aware of the risks of augmented reality to your business.
What Exactly is Pokemon Go?
For the uninitiated, Pokemon Go is a live, interactive game that allows players to become real-world “trainers.” Thanks to augmented reality technology, players can use their smart phones to catch Pokemon anywhere and everywhere they go. If you’ve wondered why so many people are suddenly walking around, seemingly aimlessly, holding their phones up, you can thank Pokemon Go for that. When a “rare” Pokemon appears in a crowded location, stand back and avoid the stampede that is sure to ensue.
Why it Poses Workers Comp Risks
Even though you may not play Pokemon Go, the game increases the odds that you’ll have a worker’s compensation claim. In fact, even if your employees do not play the game on the job, there’s a very real possibility that people who are playing it will enter your business – and that puts your employees at risk.
As the Washington Post and many other news outlets have reported, a shocking number of bodily injuries have been attributed to Pokemon Go. Why? Players are looking at their phones rather than paying attention to where they’re going. Not only have they been running into things and crashing cars, they’ve been running into people. It’s not a stretch to assume that Pokemon will appear in or near your shop, restaurant, or other type of business. In their zeal to catch these virtual critters, distracted players could run into an employee, spill or knock things over that cause an employee to slip and fall, or even accidentally trip an employee and cause him to fall down a flight of stairs. You can blame the game, but from a legal standpoint your employee was injured on the job, and that means workers compensation kicks in.
What seems like an innocent game is resulting in a surprising number of injuries. Pokemon are seemingly everywhere … even, perhaps, in your place of business. Protect yourself and your employees. Contact us at Newman Crane & Associates Insurance, (407) 859-3691 to make sure your Workers’ Compensation policy is up-to-date!