The objective of this study was to determine the effect of occupational safety and health (OSH) education during formal schooling on the incidence of workplace injuries (WIs) in young people starting their careers. Secondary objectives focused on the effect of “First aid at work” training during schooling and the conditions encountered upon arrival in the company (occupational hazard information, safety training, and job task training) on WIs occurrence.
A prospective cohort study has been carried out among apprentices or students, in the last year of levels V, IV or III diploma in specialties of production or service. At the time of inclusion, information about training course and personal characteristics were collected, and subsequent half-yearly contacts gathered information relating to work and personal data. During the two-year follow-up, WIs were directly reported by participants and were identified by searching the French National Health Insurance Funds’ databases listing compulsory WI declarations.
The 755 participants reported holding 1290 jobs. During follow-up, 158 WIs were identified, corresponding to an incident rate of 0.12 [0.10–0.14] WIs per full-time worker. Subjects who reported having received OSH education at school had 2 times less WIs than those declaring not having received OSH education (IRR=0.51 [0.00-0.98]). A lower WI risk was observed for participants who received the First aid at work training (IRR=0.68 [0.00-0.98]). The conditions upon arrival in the company were not associated with WIs occurrence.
This longitudinal study highlighted a lower risk of work injury among young people who have received OHS training at school. The OHS training provided to apprentices and students has a broader-spectrum than the specific risks of the future job. The lack of effect of the discrepancy between initial training and job may suggest the interest of strengthening this approach.