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Councils Benefit From Cemetery Safety Training

Staff members from councils across the North West took part in a two-day cemetery safety course organised and coordinated by Mount Isa City Council last week to brush up on their skills and knowledge.


Council extended an invitation to its neighbouring Shire Councils with Cloncurry Shire Council and Carpentaria Shire Council staff being able to participate in the course.


The training was provided by a fully accredited and experienced trainer, Fiona Hurst from Footprint Training.


The course was held on Thursday, June 27, and Friday, June 28, with the theoretical component held at the Council Chambers, before on-site demonstrations were conducted at the Sunset Lawn Cemetery, where attendees learnt how to safely prepare plots and use equipment such as a casket-lowering device.


The topics covered during the training sessions included workplace health and safety, grief counselling, grave preparation, ground and soil stability assessment, hazardous activities, and working in confined spaces.


“Fiona is accredited with the Australasian Cemeteries and Crematoria Association, so it was a real boon for Council to have her here to conduct this training,” Council CEO Sharon Ibardolaza said.


“Our staff along with those attending from Cloncurry and Carpentaria councils were very happy with how the course was run and the content of the training itself and were appreciative of the knowledge they gained from it.


“Council was more than happy to coordinate the training for our neighbouring councils.


“There is a legislative requirement for councils to know of these safety measures, in relation to the operation of cemeteries, so all of the attendees were eager to learn about these procedures.


“It’s also a way to catch up with other councils, network, and hear about their own experiences when it comes to the operation and management of their cemeteries.”


Council is also in the process of revamping and updating its cemetery procedures, with the training and upskilling of staff an important first step.