A muster point is considered as the safest place during emergency, where every occupant of the job premises are expected to assemble for head count before rescue operation is initiated if necessary.
Muster point is determined as part of the emergency plan and always communicated to all workers and visitors through induction. It is a very important point which must be determined and well communicated; emergency drills should be carried out to determine the workability of the emergency plan.
The Purpose of a Muster Point
The primary purpose of a muster point is to ensure the safety and accountability of individuals during an emergency. By having a designated location for individuals to gather, emergency responders can easily account for everyone and provide further instructions or assistance.
In addition, a muster point serves as a central location for communication and coordination during an emergency. This allows for a more organized and efficient response to the situation.
Importance Of A Muster Point
There are lots of reasons why your premises should have a designated muster point, these reasons cumulate into importance. However, in the scope of this article, we will just list few;
Ensures Safety and Accountability
In the event of an emergency, it can be chaotic and confusing for individuals to know where to go or what to do. Having a designated muster point ensures that everyone knows where to gather and that no one is left behind. This is especially important in large buildings or areas where it may be difficult to keep track of everyone.
It will help the emergency responders to easily account for individuals and ensure that everyone is safe and accounted for. This is crucial in emergency situations where time is of the essence.
Facilitates Communication and Coordination
It serves as a central location for communication and coordination during an emergency. This allows for a more organized and efficient response to the situation. Emergency responders can easily communicate with individuals at the muster point and provide further instructions or assistance. At this point the emergency responders can identify any missing individuals and coordinate search and rescue efforts.
Prevents Panic and Confusion
In emergency situations, panic and confusion can quickly escalate and hinder the response efforts. Having a designated muster point can help prevent this by providing a sense of structure and organization. Individuals know where to go and what to do, which can help them remain calm and follow instructions.
10 Things You Must Consider Before Choosing A Muster Point
Here are things you must consider:
- The type of emergency the premises may be exposed to, based on the operations: This can be determined from the general site risk assessment.
- The building/organization architecture.
- The workers strength (Workforce size)
- Aged workers, physically challenged, etc.
- Proximity to medical facility
- Accessibility – Access and Egress
- Safe distance from the risk radius
- Exposure to secondary emergency: Should not be affected by the primary emergency situation, resulting to a secondary emergency at the location. It should be located away from trees, power lines, poles, gas line, dense traffic areas, etc
- Exit from the muster point should take everyone out from the premises, shouldn’t take people through the premises again.
- Should not require passing through difficult and uneasy terrains; where multiple roads are crossed before getting there. By so doing, there is a very high tendency that worker(s) may be knocked down or face other risks on their course of navigating to the safest point.
Depending on the size and capacity of the organization’s premises, muster point may be more than one. It can be as many as possible, as far as it serves the purpose it was designed for. Also in complex structures, emergency exit light should be installed which will direct building/premises occupants to muster point closest to them.
It is important that site map be displayed at strategic points within the job premises, everyone should know the exact muster point they need to report to in case of emergency, and these muster points should be properly identified with either number, letters or any other recognized inscription.
Finally, there has been some question regarding the minimum distance of from the job premises. I will state here that there is no statutory requirements, since the distance varies base on the type of emergency, building architecture and other factors.
As I stated earlier, the ten (10) point highlighted above should be considered before we determine where we choose to your muster point.