Is a terrorist lurking in your workplace?

by Hannah Norton29 May 2015
Singapore HR professionals should be on high alert for potential “radicalised” individuals early, following comments made by two ministers.

On Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean said that all Singaporeans "must play our part”.

“If you know or suspect anyone who is becoming radicalised, please notify the authorities early.

"You would be helping to save that person from harming himself and others.”

The recent findings of youth involved with terrorist groups provided a “reminder for us - parents, religious teachers, friends and community at large - to remain vigilant", Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said.

This week the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) revealed 19-year-old M. Arifil Azim Putra Norja'I was detained last month for planning to join ISIS, failing which he intended to carry out violent attacks here. 

So where does HR come in?

“Workplaces are good targets for terrorist acts because they are consistent gathering places of many people at once,” Xpert HR legal editor Ashley Shaw said.

In order to help mitigate the consequences of a terrorist attack in the workplace, HR professionals can look at the creation of a company terrorism response and prevention plan, and keep employees abreast of it.

“There are many ways that a terrorist act could occur, and employers should be prepared for any of them,” Shaw said.

Acts could include shootings, chemical or biological attacks, bombs and more.

“Workplaces should be prepared by teaching employees how to handle bomb threats, recognise suspicious packages, report unusual behaviour and successfully evacuate buildings. Crisis Management Teams should also be instituted before any crisis takes place.”

If an attack were to occur, HR should also be prepared to help employees through the aftermath, Shaw said.

“An employer's response to a tragic event can go a long way towards making employees feel safe again.”

Anyone who knows or suspects that a person is radicalised should call the ISD Counter-Terrorism Centre on 1800-2626-473 (1800-2626-ISD) promptly.


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