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Geelong Cemeteries Trust Procedures For This Fire Season

Geelong Cemeteries Trust Procedures For This Fire Season

Guidelines For Conducting Trust Operations In High Fire Risk Locations.

Purpose of these guidelines

These guidelines are produced to inform and assist the Geelong Cemeteries Trust with planning and organising funerals, cremated remains placements and other Trust operations at all Trust locations including contract grave digging at the Bellbrae Cemetery.

Scope of these guidelines

These guidelines are to be active during High Fire danger periods.

Duty of care and vulnerability

The Geelong Cemeteries Trust has a duty of care to provide for the health and safety of its staff and to the public when visiting the cemetery. A bushfire is an obvious threat to the health and safety of anyone caught in its path. These guidelines are provided to assist with managing the safety of all attending the cemetery, by identifying and assessing potential fire risks, and implementing actions to reduce those risks to an acceptable level.

Funerals or other services in a high risk fire area may expose staff, funeral directors and mourners to the risk of bushfire in the right set of conditions. It is important to note that many of these people present may have increased vulnerability for one or more of the following reasons:

  • They may have little or no education or knowledge in relation to bushfire;
  • They may have reduced capacity through age, disability, health or other impediment to evaluate the risks and to respond adequately to the bushfire threat;
  • They may present organisational difficulties for evacuation and/or management;
  • They may be vulnerable to physical stresses and anxiety arising from the bushfire threat, including heat and smoke;
  • There may be significant communication barriers.

Making the decision to postpone a funeral or restrict staff operations

To assist the Geelong Cemeteries Trust in making their decision about restricting Trust operations on certain days during the fire period, a variety of resources were referred:

  • The CFA Guidelines for Conducting Small Events and Gatherings in High Fire Risk locations.
  • The CCAV Code Red Management Plan.
  • The CFA website
  • The Bureau of Meteorology website

The Trust also considered its responsibilities as an employer and land manager with an understanding of:

  • Its duty of care to its clients under common law.
  • The public liability and professional indemnity insurance cover it holds.
  • OH&S considerations for staff, funeral directors and other persons under its supervision and direction.

If you would like to find out more about the Geelong Cemeteries Trust procedures and guidelines for this fire season please click here.


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