We have a duty to keep our cemeteries safe for all visitors and staff. This is to fulfil the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) approved five year rolling programme. We are currently undergoing memorial safety testing.
Although the memorial stones are not the Council’s responsibility, if they become unstable representing a risk of causing injury, we are responsible to ensure that our grounds remain safe for visitors and staff.
The on-site safety testing includes:
- a visual check including cracks,
- gaps and eroding adhesives,
- followed by a hand test to help confirm or identify stability problems.
If a memorial fails the ICCM Memorial Safety Inspections safety criteria, we will stake and support the memorial stone. This involves placing a metal stake behind the stone and stabilising it with plastic strapping.
Whilst Braintree District Council has responsibility for the safety of the cemeteries, it does not own the memorials.
The owner of the memorial is the deed holder of the grave, and we make every attempt to contact the owner to explain the current situation. We will ask them to contact a Stone Mason to arrange a repair.
If after 3 months there has been no response from the owner we will make the memorial safe by laying it flat within the grave plot.
All our staff that carry out memorial safety testing have had training by the ICCM in ‘Memorial Safety Inspections’. Our staff will carry out any works in relation to the testing with care and attention.