Unintentional learning and the occupational health and safety experience

R. Bruce Dodge (Education and Development Officer, Nova Scotia Department of Labour, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Publication date: 1 April 1998


The purpose of this paper is to explore unintentional learning through an examination of the practical implications of it as experienced in the field of occupational health and safety, and the role of government in addressing those implications by way of learning at the level of culture change. The paper examines various learning models and assumptions and challenges the application of these assumptions in the workplace as evidenced in the field of occupational health and safety. The paper posits that a large body of “unintentional” learning exists within the workplace which is not the result of conscious decisions and lacks critical reflection on the possible outcomes. These learnings may have negative consequences that are at odds with stated or intended policy. It suggests actions which can be taken to identify and mitigate unintentional learnings and their outcomes.



Dodge, R. (1998), "Unintentional learning and the occupational health and safety experience", Education + Training, Vol. 40 No. 3, pp. 109-114. https://doi.org/10.1108/00400919810214560

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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