Episode Summary

On this episode of Safety of Work, we discuss whether the Dreamworld water park accident was a foreseeable outcome.

Episode Notes


  • Divulging our potential conflicts of interest.
  • Hindsight bias.
  • The four different mental processes used in assessing accidents.
  • How the raft ride worked on a good day.
  • The first river raft fatality on record.
  • Various river raft incidents on record.
  • The factors that lead to the accident at Dreamworld.
  • Potential conclusions from this case.


“When I was reflecting after this incident,  I don’t remember a lot of safety conversation at all.”

“There was a number of operational incidents associated with these rides; to do with, kind of, like, spacing and separation of rafts on the ride.”

“I think in this particular case, we can almost see the way that hindsight bias is causing the selectivity.”


Coroner’s Inquest into Dreamworld Incident

Hawkins, S. A., & Hastie, R. (1990). Hindsight: Biased judgments of past events after the outcomes are knownPsychological bulletin107(3), 311.