The objective was to determine the effect of the occupational health and safety (OHS) training at school on the occurrence of workplace injury in young people who started their occupational life. Secondary objectives focused on the effect of the working conditions, the conditions upon arrival in the company, and the discrepancy between initial training and job.
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 inclusion, information about training course and personal characteristics were collected. Information about occupational life and the history of personal data were recorded through half-yearly contacts. During the two-year follow-up, occurrence of work injuries was identified by the declaration of participants and by matching with the database of compulsory declarations of workplace injuries managed by the Regional Health Insurance Funds.
Among the 1800 participants, about 30% pursued further training, 20% didn‘t follow up after inclusion and 50% actually participated in the study. Among these, nearly 90% had at least one job during the follow-up period. The mean number of workplace injury was 0.16 ± 0.45 per participant. Participants who reported having received OHS training at school had 3 times less workplace injury than those declaring not having received OHS training. Previous workplace injury, previous accident in daily life and a poor health status were associated with a higher rate of work injury.
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 is mostly wider than the specific risks of the future job, in a broad-spectrum approach. The lack of effect of the discrepancy between initial training and job may suggest the interest of strengthening this approach.
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