What Does Muster Area Mean?
A muster area is a location where employees are to assemble after evacuating their workplace or work area due to an emergency. Muster areas are a common feature of many emergency evacuation plans, and depending on the industry and jurisdiction, they may be a statutory requirement.
Safeopedia Explains Muster Area
OSHA standard 1910.38 requires all employers to have an emergency action plan to provide employees with guidelines for responding to workplace-specific emergencies. This standard requires employers to have a means of accounting for all employees after evacuation. The use of a muster area as an assembly destination for employees is a common and OSHA-recommended way of meeting the requirements of this regulation. OSHA’s recommendation for the preparation of exit route procedures also includes the presentation of diagrams with clearly indicated muster areas.
Muster areas may also be used for safety purposes to limit contamination and exposure to chemicals by providing separate muster points for workers who have been exposed to a contaminant and those who have not.
In some industries where full evacuation is not possible, a muster area will be an on-site refuge. Offshore rigs, for example, use on-rig muster areas to shelter employees in the event of a disaster. These areas need to be able to provide adequate protection to employees until the hazard is contained or evacuation becomes possible.
Muster areas for certain industries may be subject to specific international standards. For instance, ISO 15544: 2000 describes the international standards for muster areas in the offshore petroleum industry.