November 29, 2018
Cemeteries are a place of grieving and love, a time to heal and a time for families and loved ones to come together to pay respects. But cemeteries can also be places where unique risks are presented. From plot cave-ins to keeping monuments safe, there are a number of liabilities that cemeteries face.
Insuring Your Cemetery
Before we go over some of the risks centered around cemetery and memorials, it’s important to note the need to invest in Cemetery Insurance. This kind of coverage is an essential piece of protection that provides financial defense amidst possible legal issues. Just like a business needs to protect itself against claims of negligence, for instance, a cemetery needs to look into cemetery insurance options that look out for the reputational and financial integrities of a cemetery.
Keeping Areas Safe
Given the nature of what cemeteries include (i.e. plots devoted for burial) there’s a built-in risk of injury. OSHA has brought fines against cemeteries in the past for violations related to cave-ins that occur when workers are taking care of new plots. With this in mind, it’s important to follow some basic steps to prevent this from happening.
Excavation sites and support systems around them need to have adequate protection against cave-ins. Inspection should be thorough to identify any deficiencies and keep an engulfment from happening. Cemeteries need to be looking out for their employees that are put in harm’s way due to lack of inspection or from faulty tools.
Also, workers should be equipped with the right protective equipment, such as steel-toe boots, respirators, safety goggles, work gloves, etc.
For guests, injuries should be avoided at all costs. Having easily identifiable gravestones and memorials should be commonplace. While some cemeteries have it in their aesthetic to keep some lawns and shrubbery growing longer and higher, this should still not impede the visual safety of guests.
Cemeteries should inspect their grounds regularly to remove litter as soon as possible and keep areas clear from clutter. Fences should be inspected to prevent access to drainage ditches or steep slopes. And any stairs or outdoor railings should also be inspected regularly to keep their integrity intact, making sure that hand rails are securely fixed.
Unfortunately, cemeteries are also popular places for people to congregate after hours when it comes to vandalism. Cemeteries are targets for vandals who mark gravestones with graffiti or bring destruction to them by kicking them over, for example.
Cemeteries should have defined property boundaries and perimeter fencing in place to deter anyone from coming in when the location is closed to the public. Also, having closed circuit cameras and private security would be your best option to monitor and patrol. However, if those are not options due to resources, you can still invest in low-cost lighting to keep areas well-lit.
About Regan Agency
A family-owned business, Long Island-based Regan Agency has more than 35 years of experience serving the insurance and risk management needs of Tri-State residents and businesses. We have earned the trust of our clients based on our integrity and commitment to offer individuals and businesses quality library insurance products at competitive prices backed by unparalleled responsive service. Just give one of our professionals a call at 631-669-3434.