Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Memoranda

Memorandum by Pearson Panke Equipment Limited (CEM 89)

  We are a member of the Confederation of Burial Authorities and understand that there is to be a House of Commons Select Committee inquiry into cemeteries.

  We are a supplier of test equipment to cemeteries. Our product, the Topple Tester, tests for the stability of gravestones and memorials. As you may know, there are a number of injuries caused by gravestones falling on workers and visitors to graveyards. Most recently a child was killed in a cemetery in Harrogate.

  There are of course a large number of cemeteries in the UK and a tremendous number of gravestones. Although a few cemeteries are beginning to undertake objective testing, the scale of the task at hand and the "I hope it doesn't happen to me" school is militating against cemeteries assuming their fullest duty of care as prescribed by the Health and Safety at Work Act.

  There is already a Directive in Germany (and in fact the instrument that we supply is the one being used). A translation of the Directive is attached. [33]

  Should the committee be interested in further information I would of course be happy to supply this but it does seem to me that the most important issue of public safety does have to be addressed, and every encouragement possible given to those who are responsible for the running of the cemeteries to sensibly meet their obligations.

Stephen G Panke

Managing Director

December 2000

33   Ev not printed. Back

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