How safe is it to be a stunt performer?


Two stunt performers have died during filming in North America in the past few weeks, but how dangerous a profession were they in and what regulations are there to protect people?

A stuntwoman was killed in a motorcycle accident earlier this week while filming Deadpool 2 in the Canadian city of Vancouver.

Eyewitnesses said Joi SJ Harris had lost control of the bike, jumped a kerb and crashed into a building.

Her death follows that of stuntman John Bernecker, who died after suffering a fall on the set of The Walking Dead.

The accidents have prompted questions about the profession and what safeguards are in place to protect stunt performers in the film industry.

In the UK, stunt co-ordinators and performers can apply to join the Joint Industry Stunt Committee (JISC) register.

There are three levels of membership – probationary, intermediate and full. Each has various required competencies and it can take up to seven years to reach the top.

Stunt co-ordinator and performer Tony Christian told the BBC: “People on the register have chosen to do this as a career, as opposed to being someone who just wants to have a go at stunts or a daredevil.”

To move up the levels, members have to prove they have taken on a variety of work in the industry so they can demonstrate the skills to perform in different situations.

Before being listed in the register, however, applicants have to provide evidence of their stunt performance skills as well as their knowledge and application of health and safety rules.

They need qualifications to the appropriate standard in six or more categories, with at least one in the Fighting group.

Source: BBC