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
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. 
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
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