Slips and trips in burial grounds

03 April 2020

Typical precautions to take when managing slips and trips in burial grounds.

View of church doors from grounds

Graveyards and burial grounds are often visited by many people. This includes families of those buried there to others who are just looking for a quiet place to wander.

It is important that churches pay particular attention to these areas as slips and trips frequently occur there.  Typical hazards include uneven ground, horizontal grave kerbs and broken headstones.

You should include graveyards and burial grounds in any inspections, risk assessments and periodic checks you make.  You may also need to include detail as part of your health and safety policy and keep records of what you have done.

Some typical precautions include:

  • Removing, replacing or repairing broken graves or kerbs
  • Repairing potholes or uneven surfaces in paths, driveways, car parks and steps
  • Highlighting unexpected changes or variations in floor levels or steps
  • Providing adequate barriers and warnings where there are unprotected drops
  • Close mowing grass paths regularly
  • Maintaining close mown paths to any frequently visited graves
  • Removing protruding tree roots and undergrowth where these are obstructing access.

Do you want to know more?

Learn more from about managing slips and trips in historic buildings from our work with the HSE.