| Written by Mark Buzinkay

Mustering reports are a crucial feature of any top control solution in emergencies. Determining where workers are located can be critical for knowing whether they are in danger. That's why a key to security emergencies is using access control systems for reporting workforce locations, also called mustering. A muster report lists all the personnel currently on site.
Mustering Report

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What is a mustering report?

Muster reporting is the process of compiling a list of personnel who are currently on site. This report can be used in emergencies to determine who is at risk and needs assistance. However, muster reporting isn't just a feature for security emergencies. It can also be used in fire, evacuation, or even severe weather conditions. In these cases, it's essential to know where your employees are, who is accounted for, and who is not.

Offshore, a mustering report is based on the current personnel-on-board (POB) list. The list of personnel on board a ship is an essential document that details who is responsible for what onboard. The list should be completed before the ship leaves port and should be updated as crew members come and go. On offshore installations, the POB list constantly changes as crews leave and arrive at the platform from the mainland.

The Offshore Installation Manager (OIM) ensures that the list is accurate and up to date. They will need to know everyone on board's names, roles, and contact information in an emergency.

If you are working on an offshore installation, make sure you know where the personnel-on-board list is kept so you can update it as needed. It could be the difference between life and death in an emergency as it will feed your mustering report.

Who should use muster reports?

Muster reporting is a crucial part of any emergency response plan. In many cases, it's the first step in ensuring everyone is accounted for and safe. It can also help reduce anxiety and confusion during an emergency. In addition, muster reports can be used to determine evacuation routes, identify refuge areas, and provide information to first responders.

Anyone who needs to know the location of personnel in an emergency can benefit from using muster reports. This includes security personnel, first responders, and even building managers. In some cases, mustering may be required by law. For example, many jurisdictions require that commercial buildings have an evacuation plan that includes mustering and keeping a list of all employees on-site in case of fire.

On offshore installations, mustering reports are required by law. The captain or Offshore Installation Manager is accountable for keeping an actual and accurate POB list and providing a mustering report in case of a mustering incident.

How to create a mustering report?

There are two ways to create a muster report: manually or automatically.

Manual muster reports are created by security personnel, mustering officers or first responders who go through the building and check for people. This method can be time-consuming, especially in large buildings or if there are many people to account for. It can also be inaccurate, relying on human memory and observations. This can be a complex and dangerous task on offshore installations due to confined space, harsh conditions and limited escape routes.

Automatic mustering reports are created using an electronic, tag-based system. This system keeps track of who enters and leaves the building or installation to generate a list of all on-site personnel. However, it records the location of crew members automatically, and in case of emergency, it can display the current position of all personnel on the installation. Therefore, automatic mustering is more accurate than manual mustering, as it doesn't rely on human memory and observations. They are also more efficient, as they don't require security personnel or first responders to go through the installation to check for people. It's also faster, as the system can generate a report in minutes.

What is an automatic mustering system?

An automatic mustering system is a type of access control or POB system that includes features for generating mustering reports. These systems use badge readers to track when people enter and leave the building or offshore installation. They then use this information to create a list of all currently on-site personnel. Automatic mustering systems can be used in any construction, from office buildings, factories, and mines to offshore installations.

The technology to read badges is quite different. Optical badge readers are simple and widespread as bar code readers. Most optical badge readers use a laser to read the encoded information on a badge. The laser is directed at a photodiode, which converts the light into an electrical signal. The reader then processes this signal to decode the information on the badge. There are two main types of optical badge readers: linear and area. Linear readers can only read badges that are oriented in one direction, while area readers can read badges that are oriented in any direction. Area readers are more expensive than linear readers but offer greater flexibility.

Optical badge readers are used in various applications, including access control, time and attendance tracking, and event management. They are relatively simple to use and maintain and offer a high degree of security. However, they are not foolproof.

RFID badge readers don't need a direct visual line of sight between reader and badge. However, the badge (or tag) must be within a distance of the reader, which can vary if the badge is a passive or active RFID tag. Active RFID tags may range a hundred meters or more, depending on the surroundings. An RFID reader is a network-connected device that can be portable or permanently attached. It uses radio waves to transmit signals that activate the tag. Once activated, the tag sends a wave back to the antenna, which is translated into data. The transponder is in the RFID tag itself (see more about worker safety monitoring)..

Which industry uses automatic mustering reports?

Automatic mustering reports are used in various industries, including healthcare, education, hospitality, and retail but foremost in hazardous industries like offshore or mines.

Electronic muster reports offer several benefits, including:

  • Accurate information: Electronic muster reports are more accurate than manual methods, as they don't rely on human memory and observations.
  • Integrity: Ability to evacuate vessel while maintaining the integrity of the personnel-on-board list.
  • Fast and efficient: Automatic mustering systems can generate a report in minutes, so you don't have to wait for security personnel or first responders to go through the building.
  • Convenient: Muster reports can be generated on demand, so you always have up-to-date information.

Visitors, contractors, and other non-employees can also be included in muster reports. Most access control systems can track visitors entering and leaving the offshore installation or building. This information can then be used to generate a list of all currently on-site people. Including non-employees in muster reports is essential for organizations with high visitors, such as retail stores or museums. It's also vital for organizations that need to track people who are working in different shifts or locations.

Most access control or POB systems have the ability to generate reports for specific periods. This is useful if you need to know how many people were on site during a particular shift or event.


Automatic mustering reports are used in a variety of industries, but especially on offshore installations. It is a proven, state-of-the-art process solution offering an additional layer of safety in emergencies. Generating a muster report is simple with the right software solution. Contact us to learn more about how electronic mustering and Crew Companion can help your organization.



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