Date of Award

December 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Urban Education

First Advisor

Simone C. O. Conceição

Committee Members

Romila Singh, Cheryl Baldwin, Liliana Mina


Application, Learning, Manufacturing, Safety, Transfer


While millions of workers are injured on the job every year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019), at least some of these injuries can be attributed to failure to use what was learned during safety training (Safety Partners LTD., 2014). By better understanding workers’ experiences, organizations may be better able to create more impactful safety training programs that will ultimately keep more workers safe. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of how manufacturing employees learn about safety. A review of research has shown that empirical studies related to manufacturing employee safety training can be modeled through Daffron and North’s (2011) transfer of learning model and Daley and Cervero’s (2016) model of learning in continuing professional education. These empirical studies, however, have not focused on understanding the experiences of the manufacturing employees themselves as they learn about safety. This study followed a generic qualitative inquiry research design, with 11 semi-structured interviews of manufacturing employees at four urban manufacturing sites. It was found that combining the Daffron and North (2011) and Daley and Cervero (2016) models into a single model is an effective way to conceptualize how manufacturing employees learn about safety and practice that learning in the workplace. Other key contributions include the understanding that learning which is time-flexible and done with a person whom the employee considers to be an expert is preferred; and how the safety culture, through positive supervisor examples, is critical to the actionable practice of safety learning.