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Stunt woman dies after performing a 44 foot jump from a building in California.

NIOSH 1995 Jun; :1-4
A 28-year-old female stunt woman (the victim) died after jumping 44 feet from a building during the filming of a movie. The victim was performing a jump called a backward fall. The victim had been a stunt person for about five years. She was considered to be an experienced stunt woman although she had not performed a backward fall rehearsal jump at this site. This maneuver required that the victim fall backwards off the side of the building and land on an air bag. She pushed off from the side of the building, landed on a corner of the air bag, bounced off it, and struck her head on the asphalt surrounding the air bag. The air bag that was used was designed for heights no greater than 40 feet. It also required three to five feet of space surrounding it to allow for adequate venting and deflation. Because of space limitations, one side of the air bag was positioned against the building from which the victim jumped, leaving three and one-half feet of space on the opposite side of the bag. The two short ends of the bag were not restricted. There was no venting space along the length of the bag that ran parallel to the building. In addition, the building and asphalt adjacent to the air bag were not padded. The employer assigned four persons to act as ground spotters. A fifth spotter was located on the roof with the victim. The CA/FACE investigator concluded that in order to prevent similar future occurrences, employers should: 1. use air bags that are adequate for the height of the jump being performed, and ensure that they are properly positioned and set-up. 2. conduct supervised practice sessions, under controlled situations, to ensure that the stunt person is capable of performing the designated activity. 3. ensure that employees, including stunt persons, are qualified for the tasks they are performing. 4. ensure that structures surrounding air bags such as buildings, curbs, and asphalt, are padded in the event a person misses the target or bounces off the bag.
Region-9; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Protective-measures
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-94CA018; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-907284
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Public Health Institute