Racing’s Occupational Health Service, operated by Racing Welfare, receives its national launch on Monday 3rd September 2018. The service offers a framework for the management of the physical and mental wellbeing of all those working in the racing and Thoroughbred breeding industries. The overriding aim of the service is to prevent and treat work related illness and injury. It will also work to promote the safety, health and wellbeing of British horseracing’s workforce.
In 2016, UK businesses lost 137 million working days to sickness, absence and injury, with a median cost of £11bn to the economy (ONS, 2017). As well as being the socially responsible thing to do, occupational health services have proven benefits to employees and produce bottom line effects for employers. Businesses operating within racing and Thoroughbred breeding are no exception to this, where maintaining a healthy workforce is of paramount importance.
Following an initial testing period in Newmarket, Lambourn and Malton throughout the first half of 2018, Racing Welfare is rolling out Racing’s Occupational Health Service from Monday 3rd September, accepting referrals from anywhere within the UK. Research shows that the longer a person is off sick, the less like they are to return to work. The provision will help people get back to their job as soon as possible through a clinical assessment with an Occupational Health Professional, Return to Work Plan and, where necessary, by providing treatment.
The service is managed by Racing Welfare and a member of the charity’s welfare team will handle each person’s case throughout the process. Referrals can be taken from employees, employers, or from other healthcare professionals. An occupational health assessment can be provided when an individual has been off work for one week or more due to ill-health or injury. The service can be accessed via Racing’s Support Line 24/7 on 0800 6300 443, where an appointment will be scheduled for an occupational health assessment. Assessments can be arranged by phone or, wherever possible, in person and will:
– Identify health issues affecting the person’s return to work
– Provide work-related health and wellbeing advice
– Offer solutions to support health at work or to facilitate a return to work
– Signpost to further help from other relevant healthcare professionals
– Make recommendations for treatment if necessary (any necessary treatment will be arranged by a local welfare officer)
Racing’s Occupational Health Service is being funded by the Racing Foundation and will be externally evaluated throughout implementation to measure the impact and success of the provision. Racing Welfare’s regional roll out of the service has incorporated significant interaction with trainers and employers to inform and engage them of objectives and applications of the provision, whilst also gaining valuable feedback. Full details about the service can be found on our Support Line pages here.