What Does Muster Point Mean?
A muster point is a designated area where all employees and visitors to a worksite can gather during an evacuation. Having a muster point ensures that all evacuees are safe from danger and facilitates head counts and other measures that require everyone to be gathered in one place.
It is also known as an emergency assembly point (EAP) or, simply, assembly point.
Safeopedia Explains Muster Point
A designated muster point is an essential safety feature for any worksite and can be used for any number of emergency situations, including fires and accidental chemical releases.
Muster Point Signs
Muster points are not very conspicuous and may sometimes have other uses. For instance, the muster point could be a portion of a parking lot. In most cases, a muster point sign is the only visual indication of its location. These signs vary slightly in design but typically feature:
- A green and white color scheme
- Three or four figures standing together
- Four arrows pointing to the figures from each corner of the sign
The Importance of Muster Points
Muster points provide clarity during an emergency situation, since everyone evacuating the worksite knows exactly where to go.
The muster point’s location also ensures the ongoing safety of evacuees. It should be far enough from the facility to keep them safe from the danger they’re fleeing, while also being free of additional hazards.
Having a single gathering place also allows supervisors to perform roll calls and identify any missing employees who may still be in the facility. This is vital information for rescuers and first responders.
Finally, a muster point allows medical first responders to provide timely care to any evacuee in need of medical attention.
Choosing the Right Location for a Muster Point
When choosing the location of a muster point, the primary objective should be to find a safe area that can be reached easily and quickly. The following factors should be considered:
- Surroundings: The area should not have any features that could put workers at additional risk. A spot that might flood during a heavy rainstorm is not suitable for a muster point. Same with one that can only be accessed by crossing a high-traffic road. Avoid proximity to power lines or trees as well, since these can be knocked over by heavy winds.
- Distance: The muster point should be at a distance at least one-and-a-half times the height of the tallest building in the facility. This will prevent fire, fumes, or flying debris from reaching the muster point.
- Accessibility: All workers must be able to make their way to the muster point with ease. If possible, avoid a location that can only be reached by walking uphill, taking stairs, or climbing over a barrier or other obstacle.
- Size: Since everyone on the worksite must gather at the muster point, it must be large enough to accommodate everyone. For larger facilities, it is advisable to have multiple muster points at strategic locations to prevent crowding, confusion, and reduce evacuation time.