Access Control Mustering Guide

By Brian Rhodes, Published Sep 30, 2019, 12:03pm EDT (Info+)

In emergencies, determining where employees are located can be critical for knowing whether they are in danger. Access systems can be used for reporting employee locations, also called 'mustering'.

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Comments (9)

Good information but this overlooks the most common 'hybrid' solution which is that personnel location is maintained at all times using the anti-passback system (with turnstiles or handsfree active tags to assure a high reliability count). Generally the count is reset at certain time of day or rolling expiration (if you don't swipe somewhere within X hours we assume you are not in the area). In case of an emergency event, people will proceed to muster points and swipe there, thus counting themselves out of the area they were previously in. The APB zones counts are then checked for people potentially still inside.

Also there are plenty of integrations between Real Time Location Systems (RTLS) but yes this probably is more common where life safety is a central concern as in oil & gas. Mobile readers as well are Android based these days and can easily be 4g instead of wifi.

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Has anyone looked at using Face Recognition for mustering ?

Even with the privacy laws now in force ( like GDPR ) i guess this could be done/justified even if you have to 'enroll' people as they enter the facility and 'forget' them once they leave ?

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Could be done but normally mustering guidelines require that the user take some positive step to confirm their presence and they should receive feedback as well. So walking by some camera probably wouldn't work, also there is chance that somebody is missed. A facial recognition reader might be more of a possibility though.

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U1, thanks for the reply. I was thinking just the opposite : using FR readers would take a lot longer as they need to stay in line and collaborate ... my thought was to have them recognized on the defined ways to the Assembly Point and have a public view monitor there to show who is still not accounted for .

In order to get them to look in the camera we could put some small light/flash to get their attention. And of course we could have a few cameras on each way to increase the chances.

But of course this would all ' not work' if the guidelines/legal requirements ask otherwise. In Romania/Europe there are no such specific procedures that i know of, it's more of a request from responsible end-users.

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Mustering depends a lot on use case. For example, mine shaft case is very different from a government building and both very different from a school. There are also other factors which can make even two mine shaft cases very different. Using a face recognition may be considered in some quite specific cases where there is very low user engagement or no engagement at all. However, GDPR would almost certainly not allow such "blanket" use of biometrics.

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I think you said it yourself....'chances'. HSE or first responder guys won't like to hear of any possibility you miss someone and they are assumed to be still in hazardous area but in fact they are safe.

Also consider there is re-muster (or muster reset) where if the count is off, we reset the whole count and everybody must register again.

But in the end, it's up to your site requirements. But when life safety is involved, better be %110 sure with your concept.

Even one site I remember insisted on dual technology prox/mag cards because they didn't trust the prox, people had to swipe in :)

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Word 'mustering' is something new to me. Haha

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We use mustering in our Adult Detention Center. It is part of our access control system and relies on staff and/or visitors to scan their access badges when entering and exiting the area. We also do have signage indicating that only one person can enter at a time and must present their credential before entering or exiting the facility.

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In my experience, the cost for implementing mustering tools could not be validated, even at larger companies. Often times, SOP's were in place for all managers to account for their personnel, then report back to EH&S or the Incident Command personnel. I can see mustering being important for specialized tasks where safety is key such as gas/oil refineries, mining, or something where there is a high likelihood of a safety incident.

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