We are currently responsible for eight cemeteries and fourteen closed churchyards. We have a duty under health and safety legislation to ensure that the dangers within these settings are controlled.
Memorial safety in burial grounds is a highly sensitive issue and any works carried out are done so respectfully and sensitively.
Whilst the maintenance and insurance of a memorial is the responsibility of the owner of the exclusive right of burial and memorialisation for the grave, we have an obligation to ensure the safety of all visitors to, and staff working in, the cemetery grounds. As such, all memorials will be routinely inspected on a five year rolling programme.
We will carry out inspections in line with Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) guidance on memorial management. The guidance defines a dangerous or unstable memorial as one that will move and continue to fall to the ground with the exertion of a force of 25kg or less.
Notices will be placed on each memorial that is found to be unsafe. A list of the grave numbers alongside the name(s) of the deceased on the memorial will be displayed:
- in the cemetery noticeboards
- on our website
- in local media, public buildings and on social media (where appropriate)
Affected grave owners will then have a period of two weeks within which to contact Keele Cemetery Office to confirm arrangements for repairs and making safe.
The full memorial safety inspection policy can be downloaded: