Thursday, December 13, 2007

Topple testing.... what a job!

Until I read a question from Bernard Jenkins MP this morning I had never heard of "topple testing". This is where you try and push a gravestone over with your hands and then attempt to do it with a special "topple tester" device. It would appear that such testing became commonplace back in 2004 when the Health and Safety Executive revealed that three people had died between 1999 and 2004 from headstones falling on them.

As you can imagine I am once again most definitely going to Hell for sniggering at the thought that someone got crushed to death by a gravestone whilst most likely visiting their dearly departed. Yes, yes I know it's cruel but the irony of getting splatted in a cemetry by a headstone is just too much for my warped and perverted sense of humour to cope with.

However, what I really want to know is how one goes about getting the job of "topple testing" and how it would be advertised. "Wanted. Committed individual, probably a goth, to walk around the cemetry trying to push over headstones. No experience necessary however cow tipping experience would be useful. Flexible working hours."

12 comments:

Tony said...

I dread to think how much training, risk assessment and health and safety awareness these topple testers have to go through before going to a cemetary and trying to push a headstone over.

Elfin Safety Inspector said...

Oi,you!!! Why are you not wearing your safety helmet, goggles, harness and flak jacket? Report to my office at 0900 tomorrow.

MB said...

The people "trained" to test the gravestones are also often then the ones who are paid to "fix" them.

One MP, not sure if it was Bernard Jenkin, took the training then tested some in a local cemetery or churchyard. He found that there was nothing wrong with most of those declared unsafe.

There are gravestones that have been standing for hundreds of years being declared unsafe for no good reason.

NigelC said...

Seriously this job has become a burden for local parish councillors or parochial parish councillors. H&S gone mad!

Anonymous said...

There's an awful consequence to these 'topplers' - if the headstone topples it is removed, usually without even warning the relatives of the person whose grave it is. People have been turning up to pay their respects to find graves effectively vandalised by the council.

machiavelli said...

"The council will then contact the owners of problem headstones and work with them to make their memorials safer

How do they propose to contact them - through a medium?

Tory Radio said...

I believe my opponent at the last election John Mann MP is going to try to get accredited - as like many people, he thinks lots of councils have been over zealous at effectively dismantling people's memorials for no apparent reason.

mb said...

It is John Mann who was mentioned in the previous news item, I thought he had become accredited but not done so at the time of the news report.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7071772.stm

The worst case that I read was of a family who visited a relatively recent grave and found the authorities had put a stake deep into the ground in front of the headstone without contacting them.

Anonymous said...

On average 5 people a year die from trying to swallow a banana.

Does the HSE want to set up a banana taskforce?

And then there's those few who develop bloodstream infections from chafing thongs. An Undergarment Risk Assessment Unit?

Anonymous said...

FFS, why do we need these rules. 3 people died? I reckon it's highly likely more people died in the same period driving to cemeteries, more people died whilst strolling through cemeteries, more people died during other people's funerals.

Perhaps we should just legislate properly and declare death to be illegal?

tapestry said...

I heard it said once that graveyard management is usually so incompetent that many bodies land in the wrong graves. As with doctors, graveyard managers bury their mistakes, so no one ever knows.

Headstones gravestones said...

Toppling headstones what a job to have to do