Objectives This study aimed 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. We hypothesised that young people who had received OSH education during their schooling would have fewer WIs than those who received no OSH education. Secondary objectives focused on the effect of ‘first aid at work’ training during schooling and the conditions encountered on arrival in the company (occupational hazard information, safety training and job task training) on WI occurrence.
Design Prospective cohort study.
Participants From 2009 to 2012, French apprentices and students at the end of their schooling and starting their careers were included.
Outcomes Occurrence of WIs.
Methods At the time of inclusion, information about school courses and personal characteristics were collected, and subsequent half-yearly contacts gathered information relating to work and personal data. During the 2-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.
Results 755 participants reported holding 1290 jobs. During follow-up, 158 WIs were identified, corresponding to an incident rate of 0.12 (0.10 to 0.14) WIs per full-time worker. Subjects who reported having received OSH education at school had two times less WIs than those declaring not having received OSH education (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 0.51, 0.00 to 0.98). A lower WI risk was observed for participants who received the ‘first aid at work’ training (IRR=0.68, 0.00 to 0.98). The conditions on arrival in company were not associated with WIs occurrence.
Conclusion In France, the OSH education provided to apprentices and students is mostly broader than the specific risks related to future jobs. Our results highlight the advantages of reinforcing this approach.
- Observational Study
- Cohort Study
- Prospective Assessment
- Workplace Injuries
- Occupational Safety And Health Education
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Contributors SB designed the study, oversaw data collection and validation, reviewed the literature, performed statistical analyses and drafted the manuscript. RC participated in study design, was instrumental in data collection and validation, and performed statistical analyses. MG participated in study design and performed statistical analyses. All authors collaborated interactively, read and approved the final manuscript.
Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or non-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval French National Committee for the Protection of Privacy and Civil Liberties (CNIL no 909103).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement No additional data are available.
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