Following a number of accidents, some fatal, within cemeteries nationally, the HSE have highlighted to all Local Authorities the need to have a robust documented memorial safety programme in place.
There are three individual parties who hold the responsibility for the safety of their memorials. These are;
The land owners
The purchaser/owner of the memorial
The mason/erector of the memorial
Council staff are committed to ensuring that families can visit their loved-ones in safe and well-maintained surroundings, provided with an excellent and compassionate service.
We have worked with Walsall, Sandwell and Wolverhampton to introduce common regulations about how memorials are safely erected in Black Country cemeteries. Memorial masons must comply with these rules when installing memorials. They must also be a member of the British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons.
The Black Country authorities are committed to managing the cemeteries both with sensitivity and safety in mind. Memorial safety is an essential element in this commitment and the Memorial Management Policy will help to ensure that risks to the health and safety of visitors and staff are properly controlled.
Bereavement Services regularly reviews the Management of Memorials Policy and its impact in the borough's cemeteries. The Memorial Officer monitors all applications for memorial work from Memorial Masons.
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, being both the land owner, and responsible for the safety of staff working in, and visitors to, its cemeteries, is committed to taking a number of health and safety measures, this is known as our “Duty of Care”, and it is a legal requirement we provide the safest environment we can for all.
All memorials allowed in to a council cemetery must be erected in compliance with the code of practise highlight by the National Association of Memorial Masons. Any memorials that are removed for our cemeteries for additional inscriptions or remedial work will also have to be re-erected following these guidelines.
To ensure existing memorials remain safe, bearing in mind that some of these may have been erected before this code of practise came into force, Dudley Council have carried out a testing programme.
Further information is available through the Memorial Safety Inspection FAQ PDF, which is attached at the bottom of this web page.
Memorials that are found to be extremely unsafe will be either;
The condition and general safety of a memorial during its whole life span remains the responsibility of the grave owner.
It may be beneficial for the owner to consider the future maintenance and safety implications of any memorial you are considering purchasing. For these reasons the Authority recommends that grave owners take out appropriate memorial insurance.
The Stonemason has a duty of care to manufacture and erect a memorial in accordance with regulations set out by the land owner (Dudley MBC) on behalf of the grave owner.
The authority advises grave owners to always use an authorised memorial mason that provides written guarantee of installation.
A list of Local Stone Masons is available on this site; however please note that the Council does not accept any responsibility in relation to these companies and the services that they supply.