THE HEALTH and Safety Executive has set up a confidential advice line on workplace transport safety.
The line is designed to offer companies a way to discuss problems on their sites or with their firms without fear of getting into trouble.
The HSE, which has set the phone line up in collaboration with the Freight Transport Association, has also set up a 'no holds barred' online discussion forum.
It said companies avoid coming forward when they have safety issues because they fear inspectors will be sent in.
Carol Grainger, the HSE's head of workplace transport policy, said: 'People don't want to phone us direct for obvious reasons but this means they can talk to a trained advisor on any problem, ranging from how to provide the best system of work, to writing a risk assessment for routine tasks, to how to select the right equipment for a particular task.
'Another key area will be training and competence, such as what training workers will need when a new vehicle is brought in.'
Ms Grainger said the advice line was a bid to encourage companies to look for safer working without having to fork out for a safety consultant.
'We are hoping this will give a 'safe' outlet for people who are troubled about safety issues, such as when they have just had a near miss.
'It would be nice if we could send a consultant round to advise everybody on the issues but unfortunately the tax payer wouldn't be prepared to pay for it.This provides a 'virtual consultant'.
'Our aim is to give people a steer as to how to work safer.'
Workplace transport safety advice line:
Safety discussion forum: www. wptsforum. org.