Headstone safety

Salford City Council is responsible for the management of four cemeteries across the city and an important part of this responsibility is to ensure a safe environment for those visiting or working in the cemeteries.

Therefore, the council is in the process of carrying out comprehensive safety inspections on all headstones and memorials to ensure they are safe.

What is the council doing?

Since 2003, Salford City Council has implemented a rolling programme of testing the safety of all headstones within the cities four cemeteries. The results of these tests are recorded and in the cases of headstones that are considered to be dangerous, where possible the grave owners are informed. If this cannot be done, the council also has a programme of repairing these memorials. In a few cases where the headstone was assessed to be an immediate danger, these were laid down.

Where are the inspections being carried out?

Agecroft Cemetery and Crematorium, Peel Green Cemetery and Crematorium, Swinton Cemetery and Weaste Cemetery.

Why are headstones being inspected?

Salford City Council has a duty to protect visitors to cemeteries and staff working in cemeteries (including contractors) from the possible danger caused by unsafe memorials.

When will the inspections be taking place?

Weaste, Peel Green and Agecroft Cemeteries have now been inspected and Swinton is currently undergoing repairs.

Who will be carrying out the inspections?

Safety inspections are carried out by members of staff who have received training in how to check the safety of memorials. Training was provided by qualified instructors from the National Association of Memorial Masons and the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management.

How will a headstone be tested?

The tester will make a visual assessment first and then follow this with a hand test.

What should I do if my headstone is found to be unstable?

As the owner of a memorial you have a duty to ensure it is safe. You must contact a suitably qualified person or firm to arrange for it to be made safe.

Who do I contact if I need my headstone repaired?

You should contact a memorial mason who is registered with the British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons to arrange for it to be repaired. Alternatively you can contact Agecroft Cemetery office on 0161 686 7290 and arrange for the memorial to be repaired by the council's contractor.

Will more inspections take place in the future?

Yes, the council has a duty to regularly check that headstones are safe and secure.

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