Must a Council Officer be present?

An Environmental Health Officer must be present at the exhumation in order to ensure that respect for the deceased person is maintained and that public health is protected.   

What Will The Officer Do?

  The Officer will also ensure that:

  • the correct grave is opened,
  • the exhumation commences as early as possible in the morning to ensure maximum privacy,
  • the plot is screened as appropriate for privacy,
  • health and safety of all workers is maintained e.g. protective clothing including masks and gloves, task lights and all other necessary equipment,
  • everyone present shows due respect to the deceased person and to adjoining graves,
  • the nameplate on the casket corresponds to that on the licence,
  • the new casket has been approved by the Environmental Health Officer,
  • all human remains and all the pieces of casket are placed in the new casket,
  • the new casket is properly sealed,
  • the area of exhumation is properly disinfected, and
  • satisfactory arrangements are in place for the onward transmission of the remains.

If the conditions of the licence cannot be met, or there are public health or decency concerns, the exhumation may not proceed. 

ID: 2403, revised 18/09/2017