Sefton Council in Merseyside has recently sent an update to memorials masons. This is regarding some important safety tests that are being carried out in cemeteries across the borough, as well as the increasing use of scatter tubes when interring cremated remains.
The council maintain four cemeteries at Bootle and Thornton in the south of the borough, in addition to Duke Street and Liverpool Road (photo left) in the Southport area. Testing is now underway at all sites to ensure headstones can withstand a certain amount of pressure.
Regular checks on headstones is essential not just so that those visiting graves in the cemetery remain safe. The local authority also has a duty of care to gardeners, masons an other workers under the Health & Safety at Work Act.
Any headstones that are deemed unsafe will be laid flat. It will be the responsibility of the grave owner to have them re-fixed to the BS8415 standard, which set minimum lengths of anchoring.
Sefton Council have also noticed that they are coming across more and more the use of scatter tubes when cremated remains are being interred. These biodegradable tubes are an eco-friendly way of putting ashes in graves, but there are implications for grave owners.
Due to their shape, scatter tubes have to be laid flat and less scatter tubes can be accommodated in graves than regular caskets. The council have asked masons to advise families of this when considering their options. If the plot is to be utilised to its maximum capacity, then families should consider using a regular casket or having he ashes poured direct from the scatter tube into the grave.
Sarsfield Memorials are licensed to work in Sefton’s four cemeteries. If you have any concerns over the safety of your memorial or the implications of using scatter tubes to inter ashes, please contact us and we will be happy to offer guidance.