NAMM’s commitment to Burial Authorities
Memorial stability and safety is a key area of concern for both Burial Authorities and NAMM. NAMM is keen to recognise the responsibilities that all Burial Authorities have and work with the authorities to ensure that their burial grounds are safe areas for the public. With the creation of the Code of Working Practice and subsequently British Standard 8415, NAMM has taken the lead on ensuring that masons are aware of the responsibility they have in creating safe cemeteries. By insisting that masons work to the Code of Working Practice and thereby ensuring that memorials are fixed to BS8415 you can prove to insurance companies that you are taking all reasonable steps to ensure public safety within you burial grounds. NAMM is also committed to ensuring the Association is involved in all aspects of the bereavement industry and keeps abreast with requirements for the future and to work with Burial Authorities.
The following list shows some of the direct benefits that NAMM offers to burial authorities:
- Assurance of NAMM Members to Burial Authorities
- NAMM tests products to ensure that they meet the requirements of BS8415
- NAMM is able to provide support in the form of experienced masons or technical advisor on matters such as
- Technical issues
- Cemetery regulations
- Memorial quality and consistency
- NAMM is involved throughout the industry from its official seat Using Herbicides Around Memorials
Along with other professional bodies NAMM does not advise the use of herbicide around the bases of memorials. Apart from causing discolouration, which is unsightly, there is a possible risk to the environment and public health. There is a potential high risk of damage to the natural stonework as well as causing instability to the stone base/foundation by removal of vegetation such as grass and its interlocking root system. This exposes and weakens the soil structure as the roots die and voids will be left both above and under the ground. The soil will fall in to these voids therefore loosening the stone. This would create a health and safety issue with long term implications.
In our own City and Guilds ‘Safety Inspection and Assessment of Memorials’ course we advise against the use of weed killers for all of the above reasons and include pictorial evidence as to its adverse effects.
We also include other important maintenance issues that should be observed to ensure the safety of memorials and allow Cemetery staff to comply with current legislation including
- Managing the Safety of Burial Ground Memorials (Ministry of Justice).
- Local Authorities’ Cemeteries Order 1977 (LACO).
- Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA74) and associated regulations such as the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
- NAMM code of Working Practice page 11.section 5.g ‘the use of Weed killers is not acceptable in or around memorials. Root systems hold the ground together to stop soil erosion’
Following a number of serious incidents involving unsafe memorials and the consequences to both members of the public and responsible Burial Authorities, NAMM recommend that all Churchyard/Cemetery Managers with a responsibility for Health and Safety ensure that all operatives hold a nationally recognised qualification for the procedures they are being permitted to undertake.
North East Burial Authority Meeting
NAMM members W. P. Everingham and Sons from Hedon in the North East Region invited their local Burial Authority and Church representatives to an informal meeting at Hedon Town Hall on 20 August 2015. As a result of the meeting it was felt that the following documents should be made available to all Burial Authorities. To access the documents and presentations please click on the links below.
Important information regarding Ground Anchors 18 December 2014
Recently a misleading advert regarding the Stone-Safe ground support system was distributed in the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management Journal (ICCM) and in the Federation of Burial & Cremation Authorities (FBCA) magazine ‘Resurgam’ …. click on the following link for the full article:
Discussion Document: Increasing Cemetery Income
In the current economic climate it is important that everyone looks at opportunities to either reduce costs or increase revenue. This document aims to investigate several different ideas that will help achieve these goals.
To download a copy, click here: NAMM Increasing Cemetery Income
Fixer Qualifications & Registration
NAMM continually receives reports that fixers are claiming to fit to British Standard 8415 and the NAMM Code of Working Practice (NAMM CoWP).
NAMM has always asserted the fact that a claim to fix to the British Standard is no guarantee in itself since the standard is only a measure of stability. It is the NAMM CoWP which provides a methodology to guarantee that stability, since it is underpinned by NAMM’s own testing and accreditation regime. That is why the Ministry of Justice guidance on stability of memorials in cemeteries and burial grounds specifically cites only the Code and testing procedures of NAMM.
Any claim by a company or mason is no more than a claim, unless it is supported by appropriate qualification and registration. Of course, it is membership of this Association which provides the fullest assurance of quality of service, knowledge, experience and expertise in safe fixing.
NAMM can only verify Members of the Association and RQMF registered fixers, as we have our own Compliance Assessments and Quality Assurance systems. Any other training providers or companies who allege to fix to BS8415 or the NAMM CoWP should have their own systems in place to quality-assess their fixers, including a robust complaints and disciplinary procedure. We strongly recommend that Burial Authorities request this information to ensure fulfillment of their implicit responsibilities.
Concerns have been raised by NAMM members that some Councils are using what is termed as ‘Community Payback People’ to undertake a programme of re-fixing memorials whilst supervised within their Cemeteries.
Community Payback has been used in the past to carry out work in Cemeteries such as weeding and ground maintenance work. However any work on memorials should only be carried out by qualified individuals who belong to a recognised Industry Register and can prove compliance with British Standard 8415 and the NAMM Code of Working Practice.
The Burial Authority has a duty of care to ensure all work is carried out to a recognised national standard, by trained individuals and that they have the appropriate insurance cover, as structures of larger memorials cannot only potentially injure those carrying out the work, but also members of the public visiting the memorial at a later date.
NAMM can assist in giving advice in this area.
When a memorial has been correctly fitted to British Standard 8415 (NAMM CoWP) it should have a guarantee covering the workmanship afforded by the memorial mason who fitted it.
This guarantee belongs to the owner of the memorial.
If the memorial is subsequently moved by anyone other than the mason who fitted it; that guarantee may be invalidated.
To avoid this please ensure that the Mason who fitted the memorial is contacted.
n British Standards, consultations with the Ministry of Justice on Memorial Safety Guidelines and its involvement on BCAG
- NAMM Register of Qualified Memorial Fixers ensures that masons have suitable industry qualifications with the backing of NAMM’s free arbitration service should disputes arise
- NAMM offers a free arbitration service if you have a dispute with a member mason or a member of the public (contact Head Office if you require more information)