by Dirk Libbey from https://www.cinemablend.com
In the summer of 2017 while Deadpool 2 was in production, Joi Walker, a professional motorcycle racer who was working as a stunt performer for the first time, was killed when she was ejected from her bike and went through the plate glass window of a building. Now, the Vancouver-based production company, TCF Vancouver Productions LTD, has been fined nearly $300,000 by WorkSafeBC, the British Colombia equivalent of OSHA in the U.S.
The exact fine comes to $289,562 and is due to the finding that the production of Deadpool 2 was in violation of five requirements of Canada’s Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. The finding of WorkSafe BC, is that, among other things, the production failed to identify the hazards involved in the stunt or control the risks. The stunt performer was not only not wearing appropriate safety gear, but according to Deadline, she was actually instructed by the production not to do so.
Joi Walker was working as a stunt performer in place of Zazie Beats as Domino. The motorcycle stunt was Joi Walker’s first stunt performance on the film. This may have something to do with the fact that one of the other violations listed is the fact that the production failed to provide a new worker orientation for Walker.
Joi Walker’s death is not only not the only significant stunt accident in recent years, it’s not even the only significant one that took place on a motorcycle. Two years before the Deadpool 2 accident, a motorcycle crash on the set of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter left stuntwoman Olivia Jackson in a medically induced coma. And while Jackson ultimately survived her injuries, she was left with permanent damage, including an amputated arm. Jackson was recently awarded damages in a lawsuit against the film’s South African production company.
A stuntman on The Walking Dead fell to his death a month before the accident on the set of Deadpool 2.
More recently a stuntman on the set of F9 sustained a serious head injury in a fall. While this most recent injury is from this past summer, it appears that we’ve seen fewer serious injuries to stunt people more recently, which hopefully indicates that extra care is being taken to ensure safety of all involved.
Stunt people have, without question, the most dangerous job on any film set. They’re trained to be able to do these stunts safely, but there is always going to be risk. Considering the great amount of respect that many in Hollywood clearly do have for stunt performers, there’s little argument that nothing is more important than their safety.
WorkSafe BC says the purpose of the fine is to motivate the employer, and other employers, to comply with health and safety requirements. Deadpool 2 was ultimately dedicated to Joi Walker.