By Peter Tremblay, Business Development Manager, Guard RFID Solutions Inc.
The goal of an emergency mustering solution is to save lives. You want to ensure everyone safely leaves your building or outdoor area and arrives at the designated mustering point. And you only want to send your emergency response team into a compromised area if there are people left behind. The GuardRFID Employee Mustering solution has many advantages over traditional mustering systems. For example:
- Hands-free solution – employees are counted as they are detected at the designated mustering point.
- Quickly muster employees as they arrive – the GuardRFID Active RFID solution can count hundreds of employees in a second.
- Active RFID tags are small – they can be attached to a helmet, keychain, smartphone, or worn as a pendant.
- Quickly locate missing employees – when using a Real Time Location System (RTLS), you can quickly find employees on a map of your building or outside area.
Active RFID can provide three levels for your emergency assembly point solution:
Level 1 – Mustering
When employees arrive at a mustering point, they are counted by the software. This is hands-free and automatic. The GuardRFID active RFID solution can process hundreds of tags in a second. The mustering solution also includes a mobile application that can be used by the emergency response team in the field or the muster lead at the muster point.
Pros for Level 1 Mustering
- Quickly determine who has arrived at the mustering point.
Cons for Level 1 Mustering
- Unless you manually check employees as they arrive and leave work, you don’t know how many employees are on site and should arrive at the emergency assembly points.
Level 2 – Mustering with Portal Detection
Active RFID technology is deployed at all entrances and exits of your facility. When an employee enters the facility wearing an active RFID tag they are automatically added to the software as being on site. When an employee leaves the facility, they are automatically positioned at their point of egress and noted as no longer on site.
In a mustering event, the workstation client and mobile application display how many people are in the facility. As employees arrive at emergency mustering points, the software is automatically updated to indicate who has arrived at the mustering points and who has not arrived. Each employee has a profile associated with their tag. The profile can include a photo and other employee information. This can help to provide important information such as the employee’s supervisor. The system can also be used for time and attendance, as well as to prevent assets from being removed from the facility. Visual and audible alarms can be added at entrances and exits if desired.
Pros for Level 2 Mustering with Portal Detection
- Using the GuardRFID client workstation software or mobile application, quickly determine who has arrived and who has not arrived at the designated mustering points.
- Quickly access the employee profile to see a photo and valuable information like: who’s their team lead, what area do they usually work in.
Cons for Level 2 Mustering with Portal Detection
- You don’t know the employees last known location.
Level 3 – Mustering with Portal Detection and Real Time Location System
In addition to the features included in the first two levels, the third level includes Real Time Location System (RTLS). The employee’s location is displayed on a map, so you can see the profile associated with their active RFID tag. This is available on the client workstation software and mobile application on a smartphone or tablet.
In the event of an emergency, the Emergency Response Team can see the approximate location of an employee. Knowing the employee’s location reduces the time to locate and save an employee. This is especially crucial if the Emergency Response Team is wearing self contained breathing apparatus with limited oxygen. Additional alerts can be set for employees in unauthorized areas.
Pros for Level 3 Mustering with Portal Detection and Real Time Location
- Using the GuardRFID client workstation software or mobile application, quickly find the location of the employee on the map.
Cons for Level 3 Mustering with Portal Detection and Real Time Location
- It is the most expensive option of the three mustering point solutions.
When disaster strikes, the key to providing your workers with the best chance for survival is knowing where they are as soon as possible. If anyone is missing, you need to know who they are and where they were last located, so that the search can begin immediately and in the right area.
 Requires additional equipment