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S3-E6: Cha-cha-cha thrill rides

WARNING: Fatalities are discussed in this episode.

Trajce regales the story of the octopus ride at the amusement park: its carriage uncoupled from the main support arm and slid down side show alley. “Are you serious?” asks Sara, “That is out of a movie.”

“A guilty plea, mea culpa,” says Trajce. “You know what was missing?” he asks, “human factors were not factored (into the risk assessments).”

Alan, Sara, and Trajce challenge the idea of foreseeable risks of excitable children at amusement parks. Alan relays details of the 2016 Gold Coast Dreamworld Thunder River Rapids ride fatalities. Sara describes the human factors demands on ride operators revealed by the investigations. She explains that during times of stress, attentional focus can narrow, and our recall can diminish.

Sara argues her case (again) for the work design strategist at a C-Suite executive level to provide an integrated whole-of-business approach to good work design. Alan commends the work of the work health safety inspectors who must be confronted by these investigations, and the sensitivities that are required to determine the nuanced and complex arrangement of factors that contribute to horrific accidents. “We accept risk if we have an emotional attachment to something (like a thrill ride),” says Alan.