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Prepare a grave site

Unit Descriptor This competency standard covers the process of preparing a gravesite. This includes assisting with the excavation of the grave, backfilling the grave and enhancing the gravesite following burial. Preparing a gravesite is likely to be done in association with a fellow worker or work team, under routine supervision and with intermittent checking. An individual involved in excavation work at this level would not be required to operate earth-moving machinery.Competency is demonstrated by the application of knowledge and skills to a range of grave preparation tasks and roles usually within established enterprise policy.

1 . Prepare site for excavation
  1. OHS hazards are identified, risks assessed and reported to the supervisor.

  2. Personal protective clothing and equipment is selected, used and maintained.

  3. Tools, equipment and machinery are prepared and used according to supervisors instructions.

  4. Surrounding monuments, masonry or headstones that threaten the stability of the new gravesite are inspected and removed if necessary, according to supervisors instructions.

  5. Sludge pump is used to remove excess water if required.

  6. Gravesite is marked out to suit coffin dimensions and according to supervisors instructions and/or enterprise policy.

2 . Assist with the excavation
  1. Grave is excavated according to enterprise policy.

  2. Sides of grave are shored where depth of grave exceeds 1.5 metres or as determined by enterprise policy.

  3. Surface area for 400 mm from the edge of the excavation is covered with an approved material to ensure the integrity and stability of the soil.

  4. Access to and egress from the excavation site is undertaken according to OHS requirements .

  5. Gravesite is secured with protective restraints to limit access to the site while being established and when left unattended.

3 . Backfill and enhance the gravesite following burial
  1. Burial hole is back-filled with soil free from large lumps, plant debris or waste material.

  2. Backfilling techniques are employed to consolidate the soil, to minimise cavities and to restore the ground to its original level.

  3. Surrounding monuments, masonry or headstones are replaced as necessary.

  4. Waste material and plant debris removed from the gravesite are disposed of in an environmentally aware and safe manner according to enterprise policy.

  5. Gravesite is enhanced according to supervisors instructions and/or enterprise policy.

Key CompetencyExamples of ApplicationPerformance
How can information be collected, analysed and organised?Information about the gravesite to be prepared and excavated may need to be discussed with the supervisor or others in the work team.1
How are ideas and information communicated within this competency?Information regarding the enhancement of a gravesite after burial may need to be collected, analysed and organised.1
How are activities planned and organised?Tools, equipment, machinery and work procedures for preparing a gravesite may need to be arranged before and after burial and there may be some responsibility for co-ordinating work with others.1
How are problem solving skills applied?The preparation of a gravesite may involve working with other members of a team to complete the project.1
How are mathematical ideas and techniques used?Mathematical ideas and techniques may be used when measuring dimensions and depth of grave to be excavated and also when following correct procedures for shoring of the grave.1
How is use of technology applied?Problems may arise in the excavation or backfilling of a grave relating to soil, water and weather conditions. These problems may need to be addressed quickly.1
How is team work used within this competency?Calculators may be used to determine calculations for the excavation works.1

Range Statement

What OHS hazards may be associated with gravesite preparation?

OHS hazards may include problems associated with working in confined spaces, e.g., changes in atmospheric pressure, atmospheric contaminants, unsafe oxygen levels and engulfment, solar radiation, uneven surfaces and large obstacles.

What personal protective clothing and equipment are likely to be used when preparing a gravesite?

Personal protective clothing and equipment may include breathing apparatus appropriate for working in confined spaces, boots, gloves, overalls, sun hat, sunscreen lotion, protective headgear and waterproof clothing.

What tools, equipment and machinery may be required when preparing a gravesite?

Tools, equipment and machinery may include spades, shovels, rakes, crowbars, augers, wheelbarrows, earth moving machinery, a sludge pump and compacters.

What are the OHS requirements to be observed with regard to access and egress from the excavated grave?

OHS requirements may include observance of the Approved Code of Practice AS 2885 Safe Work in Confined Spaces, relevant Local Government Acts, General Cemetery Regulations, enterprise policies and the use of an approved ladder - a ladder that complies with the requirements of Australian Standard AS 1892 and extends from the base of the excavation to at least 600mm above the top of the grave.

What protective restraints may apply to this standard?

Protective restraints may include barricades, temporary fencing and reinforced covers.

What is likely to be done to enhance a gravesite?

Enhancing a gravesite may include placement of monuments, headstones or masonry, planting of flowers or other vegetation, erection of fencing, laying of gravel/pebbles or the installation of other decorative features.

Evidence Guide

What specific knowledge is needed to achieve the performance criteria?

Knowledge and understanding are essential to apply this standard in the workplace, to transfer the skills to other contexts, and to deal with unplanned events. The knowledge requirements for this competency standard are listed below:

What specific skills are needed to achieve the performance criteria?

To achieve the performance criteria, appropriate literacy and numeracy levels as well as some complementary skills are required. These include the ability to: