Effect of occupational safety and health education received during schooling on the incidence of workplace injuries in the first 2 years of occupational life: a prospective study

BMJ Open. 2017 Jul 18;7(7):e015100. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015100.


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.

Keywords: Cohort Study; Observational Study; Occupational Safety And Health Education; Prospective Assessment; Workplace Injuries.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Inservice Training
  • Male
  • Occupational Health / education*
  • Occupational Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Injuries / prevention & control
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Schools
  • Students
  • Workplace*
  • Young Adult