Memorial Headstone Safety
As you are aware the issue of Dangerous Memorial Headstones both within operational and closed church yards/cemeteries has become a major issue for burial organisations. In today climate of litigation, with insurance companies insisting on audits of assets (memorials) being undertaken, it falls to the burial authorities, landowners, parish councils and parochial church councils to undertake this operation.
Within the last five years there has been three deaths directly caused by falling memorials and numerous injuries. Surveys have shown that as many as one in ten monuments are dangerous this includes new memorials which have been found to be inherently unstable.
Under present legislation the “occupier” (local authority, land owner parish council or parochial church under Occupiers Liability Acts 1957 and 1984), an employer (under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 section 2 and 3) as well as the Local Authority (Local Authorities Cemeteries Order 1977) are responsible for all/any injury or incident within the cemetery or closed church yard and have a duty of care for the safety of employees, contractor, visitors, trespassers and the general public.
With all the above in mind I would like to introduce the service offered by “Independent Memorial Inspection”. A thorough survey of all memorials within the cemetery/church yard will be undertaken and a report produced for reference that will indicate action taken to ensure safety and action further required (this would also resolve issues with insurance companies).
An independent memorial inspection would also free up valuable officer/staff time, reduce the expense of additional training and logistics. In the unfortunate position following an incident the report would be an independent reference regarding the condition of the memorials, compliance of the above Acts.