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Workplace Safety Amidst Civil Unrest

Over the past few weeks, many cities have loosened regulations on workplace and business practices. As a result, companies and employees must return to work in the midst of an ongoing pandemic; this uncertainty is only deepened by civil unrest across the country.

Though recent protests are prominently peaceful, several have resulted in riots and looting. Violent individuals and groups have broken into, stolen from, and burned down buildings and cars in more gruesome cases.

Besides the physical and financial damage a riot can cause, employees may feel anxious, fearful, or unsafe. For all of these reasons, it is critical that businesses are prepared to handle the emotional and physical turmoil that could plague their work environments.

Employers should strive to foster communication and comfort in the workplace. All personnel have the right to express themselves and their beliefs; in the same vain, it is critical that this is done in a caring, respectful manner in regard to all employees.

The following key points should be considered when developing such an environment:

  • Encourage a healthy, diverse tone and culture

  • Prepare a plan in the case of conflict and train all personnel

  • Consistently look for ways to further develop a positive environment

Violence from a riot may occur outside or inside of your building. In the case of a riot actively affecting the workplace, these practices should be followed:

  • Implement an Emergency Response Plan and ensure that all employees are properly trained

  • Allow employees to work from home if the risk of a riot is high in the area of the workplace

  • Stay informed by way of news, social media, and local law enforcement

  • Proactively enhance security measures - this may be necessary before or after a riot takes place

These practices create a solid foundation to encourage a safe, secure working environment for all personnel.

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