OSHA fines company following ‘Walking Dead' stuntman's death

OSHA fines company following ‘Walking Dead' stuntman's death

John Bernecker

COWETA COUNTY, Ga. — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Stalwart Films LLC for failing to protect employees from fall hazards while filming the television show, "The Walking Dead."  
 
OSHA issued a serious citation and issued a maximum fine of $12,675 for the "company's failure to provide adequate protection from fall hazards."

<p>John Bernecker</p>

John Bernecker

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“This tragedy should serve as a wake-up call for the entertainment industry,” said OSHA Atlanta Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer. “The entire industry needs to commit to safety practices for actors and stunt people involved in this type of work.”

The company has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Bernecker was a veteran stuntman who worked on productions like The Hunger Games.

Photos from the sheriff's office showed the balcony two stories up Bernecker fell from and the cushion, that according to a witness, he missed by just inches.

"He fell off of a balcony, I believe he fell on his back, or head. I didn't see the impact," a witness described in a 911 call.

The police report states Bernecker gave the thumbs up, signaling he was ready.

The Assistant Director told sheriff's investigators Bernecker was supposed to go up and over the balcony's railing, but instead grabbed on with both hands, slammed into the bottom, lost grip and fell about 25 feet.