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Do you know what mustering is?

If you answered an event of gathering people, a ranch hand in Australia or “to rally/pull together”, you would be correct. In our discussion, this pertains to Workforce Logistics, and the outcome of directing people to a designated place where all employees or visitors of a work site can assemble in case of an emergency.  

The importance of a designated muster point

A designated muster point is an essential safety measure. These muster points and the routes to them must be well-marked and easily found during night or day. The standard sign design is green and white and depicts three or four figures standing together, usually with four arrows pointing to them (as you can see in the featured image of the article).

On assembly, there may be a roll call and the identification of any missing employees who may still be on the work site after the evacuation or emergency drill. This information can then be passed on to rescuers or emergency responders. This preplanned drill and the many processes are vital for any worksite and compulsory to have according to most government regulators.

Additionally, as a further accounting of your workforce, managers also require reports of the entire workforce at any time. This would include who is at the work site and where, such as at a Mine or Oil & Gas facility. Where are they in the entire site?  The travellers could also be travelling (Air, Bus, or Truck), in the camp room or maybe even at home. This documentation in real time is vital.

Technology to keep employees safe at all times

Having procedures in place for workplace evacuations is part of what employers should do to keep their employees safe in case of emergencies.  Furthermore, this is or should be a part of the operations Emergency Action Plan (EAP). There are a few methods of accomplishing this EAP, depending on the work size, remoteness, technology and even location(s).  As per the above example, a designated person may just take a roll call as we have a rudimentary paper roster.

Employing technology, the supervisor may pull up an employee name or badge number via a security system. Some organizations use badge scanning (RFID) that can track and identify workers as they pass around a camp or mine site as examples.

In more robust environments, there could be Biometrics at security or muster points. With some Nomadis mine site customers,  instead of having employee badges scanned manually, long range Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) scans automatically at a distance.  All badge numbers are recorded in an office in a second.

The management of an evacuation is a critical point of your preparedness plan. Mustering takes time, energy, and practice to be 24/7 ready. It also demonstrates a safety culture for all types of work locations and especially if remote.

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