Kollegahjälpen was started in 2000 by Transportfackens Yrkes- och Arbetsmiljönämnd (TYA) and Sveriges Åkeriföretag after several accident-affected drivers testified about the lack of support and help and the difficulty of returning to work again. Kollegahjälpen is a network of haulage companies and truck drivers who line up to help truck drivers who have been involved in a difficult event to process their experiences so that they can move on in life.
After a traffic accident or other serious incident that you as a truck driver have been involved in, there is an opportunity for the driver himself, a relative, employer or co-worker to contact Kollegahjälpen. You then call 020-59 60 00. The number goes to SOS Alarm, which then contacts the colleague helper who is closest geographically. Then the colleague helper contacts the truck driver to hear what support he needs.
It is common for the colleague helper to meet or call the truck driver for a support call where you go through the incident, address difficult feelings, thoughts and questions that exist about the incident. Once a contact is established, the conversations continue until you together feel that you have achieved results. It is important that the colleague helper get a signal that the affected driver needs help, so they can start working and it is always good if a first contact is made as soon as possible after a difficult event. But it does not matter if it happened recently or several years ago. It’s never too late to get help.
To become a colleague helper, you must go through a special training to understand shock reactions and learn conversational techniques. They come from all over the country but have one thing in common: they are willing to help and support their colleagues. One of the most important qualities as a colleague helper is to listen, listen and listen again. The colleague helper knows what it means to work on the road – one of the world’s most dangerous workplaces – and many of them have their own experiences of traffic accidents or other serious incidents. Their task as a colleague helper is to be a fellow human being.