What is occupational health?
Occupational health is part of Racing Welfare’s award-winning Workforce Wellbeing Programme (WWP) and exists to keep staff safe and healthy. Horseracing depends on a fit and healthy workforce and working at racing yards, studs and racecourses can be physically and mentally demanding. Consequently, the health of those who keep the show on the road is paramount. There are two main areas of occupational health:
- Implementing workplace procedures to reduce risk of injuries and ill health.
- Providing support to staff on sick leave and helping them return to work.
What is Racing’s Occupational Health Service?
Are you struggling with a health issue at work or have you been signed off work? Racing’s Occupational Health Service gives you the opportunity to undergo a healthcare assessment with an occupational health expert.
The occupational health expert will talk to you about your health, assess your circumstances and come up with a Return To Work Plan to help you get back into work.
What is an occupational health advisor?
An occupational health advisor provides you with the advice to assist with your return to work. Racing’s Occupational Health Service ensures your occupational health advisor has relevant qualifications and experience in line with best practice.
Occupational healthcare professionals include:
- specialist doctors and nurses
- ergonomic experts
- occupational therapists
What is an occupational healthcare assessment?
An occupational healthcare assessment gives you the chance to talk to an occupational health expert either face-to-face or by telephone.
Your occupational health advisor will carry out the following steps:
The purpose of the assessment is to give you advice and recommendations to assist your return to work more quickly and to provide a Return To Work Plan.
What happens after my assessment?
Following the assessment, you will be sent a Return To Work Plan via email or post which will provide details of any supportive actions that will help you back to work. These are recommendations and it is up to you to consider whether, and how, to take these recommendations forward.
The occupational health professional will share the Return To Work Plan with you and your Welfare Officer. Your Welfare Officer will inform you of what support Racing Welfare can offer.
Your Return To Work Plan will only be shared with your GP and/or employer subject to your consent.
How can Racing’s Occupational Health Service help me?
Workplace absence can affect you in the following ways:
- Health – being out of work for four weeks or more can affect your mental and physical health. This can differ from the original reason for your ill health.
- Employment – once you have been off for four weeks you may be at a greater risk of not returning to work at all.
- Financial wellbeing – absence from the workplace can lead to difficulties financially which can have knock on effects for your mental health.
- Family – a prolonged period off work can impact the health and wellbeing of someone’s family as well as themselves.
Absence also puts pressure on those in your workplace and your GP. Acting quickly when you are struggling with a health condition at work, or off sick from work, is important. The longer you are off work the harder it is for you to return to any type of employment.
How to get occupational health support
You can self-refer in the following ways:
- contacting Racing Welfare’s Support Line on 0800 6300 443
- speaking to your employer or GP who can refer you with your consent
When you refer you will be asked some questions, to confirm some basic information in order to verify your identity and take your details. Your consent will also be obtained to take part in the assessment and for your personal information to be processed for that purpose. Any referred treatment will be provided free of charge.
Jo Devereaux, who is Clinical Lead at Racing’s Support Line and a trained counsellor explains below what you can expect when you call us: