Boeing employees are no longer allowed to play Pokemon Go at work. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP, file)

Safety concerns prompt Boeing to ban Pokemon game at work

Pokemon Go play has become so widespread that even Boeing has banned it from its factories and offices.

Since its July 6 debut, the mobile app game has become known for being addictive and all-consuming.

Users have reportedly walked into traffic and suffered other accidents while playing the game. Deeply absorbed players walk around while staring intently at their mobile phones trying to find and capture little creatures called Pokemon.

Boeing told employees in an email last week that Pokemon Go almost caused an accident at the company, the website 9to5mac.com reported.

The company removed it from all company-owned devices, the site reported.

“We used the Pokemon Go phenomenon as an opportunity to talk with our employees and remind them of Boeing’s strong focus on workplace safety,” Boeing spokesman Paul Bergman said. “As we strive for zero injuries, we prohibit employees from walking and using mobile devices at the same time on Boeing property. This has been a safety standard since 2014. Doing so has contributed to improvements in eliminating distractions and reducing the risk for slips, trips and falls.”

The company’s actions were “not about any particular app,” he said.

Here and elsewhere, police have warned that the game has caused accidents and dangerous situations.

Players have been relentless in their zeal to capture the digitally hidden creatures. Even the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, the former Nazi German death camp in Poland, has had to ban the app.

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; dcatchpole@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

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