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Workers kept safe during violent riots in Baltimore

The Baltimore Riots, which started the week of April 27, caused many problems in the area, which you're likely very aware of if you live in Maryland. Rioters got out of hand following the death of a young African-American in police care; his death was recently ruled a homicide. Lighting a pharmacy on fire and throwing bricks at police officers doing their jobs in town were just a few of the violent acts that took place. The National Guard even had to be called in to calm the situation, so people could once again be safe in the streets.

This incident is one that comes with serious questions about how to keep workplaces safe and workers safe during riots. Police officers had to wear helmets and carry shields in some instances, and pepper spray was a potential weapon, too. Stores at the mall were looted, and liquor stores were broken into, leaving workers at the mercy of the rioters.

So, how were those working kept safe? While extra safety gear was used by police and the National Guard, people on sports teams, like the Orioles, who had a game on April 27, cancelled the event to protect players from harm. Many stores in the area shut down, leaving the buildings open to damage but workers safe from injury.

As the area clears, it's possible that people could be held accountable for their parts in the riots, but that's yet to be seen. Those who have been injured while at work will likely need to rely on Maryland's workers' compensation system to get the money they need for medical care and lost wages.

Source: 2 News, "Rioting prompts state of emergency in Baltimore," April. 28, 2015

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