The new regulation for crematoriums in Scotland, which came into effect in April, is placing greater emphasis on weighing and has prompted UK scales manufacturer Marsden and the UK Weighing Federation (UKWF) to comment on suitable weighing equipment.
The Cremation (Scotland) Regulations 2019 are superseding the Cremation (Scotland) Regulations 1935. Under the regulation, a combined weight of both the coffin and the deceased should be supplied by funeral directors.
Guidance from the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) said: “If the deceased person (in their coffin) is in (the crematorium’s) care prior to the cremation form being sent to the cremation authority, you should fill in the combined weight section of Form A1 as accurately as possible.
“Funeral directors operating in Scotland should take steps to obtain access to suitable weighing equipment as soon as possible.”
Marsden consulted with UKWF on suitable equipment for funeral directors.
The UKWF’s technical officer, Ian Turner, said: “Section 3(2)(c) of the Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments Regulations 2016 states that ‘any instruments used for the determination of mass for the application of laws or regulations or for an expert opinion given in court proceedings’ must be Trade Approved and verified.
“What is important to note however is that there is not an obligation to use weighing instruments at all and the weight can be legitimately estimated, as long as this clearly indicated on Form A1.”
Marsden’s operations director, Mark Coates, added: “Whilst the weight of the deceased can be estimated, it is recommended that funeral directors in Scotland obtain suitable weighing equipment. Whilst estimated weights can be given, our advice would be to invest in the most suitable and accurate weighing equipment your budget will allow.
“Ultimately it is up to the funeral director which weighing scale they use, but would recommend using approved scales where possible. These provide an accurate weight reading you can rely on and therefore complete Form A1 with confidence.”
Guidance from the NAFD can be found on Marsden’s website.