Injured Worker Transportation Services – Are You Prepared?

If you haven’t given much thought to injured worker transportation services, you’re not alone. It’s a somewhat obscure topic that isn’t given much thought until you need it. The problem, of course, is that by then, it’s too late, and when you have an employee that gets injured on the job site, you’re left unprepared and hoping for the best.

What actually happens when an employee gets hurt on the job and has to go to the hospital? How does he get there? Common options would include:

  • Dial 911. That’s probably what most people would do out of reflex, but ambulance services are expensive, designed for emergency transport, and can only drop the patient off at the Emergency Room, which typically costs 300% more than standard medical care. Of course, in a life-threatening situation the emergency services must be contacted- but for now we’ll discuss non-life threatening scenarios.
  • A well-meaning manager might offer to drive the employee to the hospital personally.
  • Others might dispatch a company vehicle to take the employee in for care.
  • Others still might call a cab.
  • A few might do nothing more than tell the employee to drive himself.

The problem is that none of these options are optimal. There is an entire class of medical transport that is specifically designed to fill the needs of companies in the situation above. Namely, urgent medical transport companies.

Urgent Medical Transport is different from emergency (Ambulatory) transport in a couple of important ways. First, they can take the injured party to the hospital, as opposed to the ER. Second, UMT offers trained medical personnel who take charge of the patient on arrival, and provide interim care during transport. You don’t get that if your injured worker is stuffed in the back of the company van, which could easily open you up to lawsuits, should anything happen to the patient during transport.

The second time to consider Injured Worker Transportation Services is after the accident but before he’s well enough to return to work. For a variety of reasons, the employee might not be able to easily get to the doctor for the follow-up treatment that will get him back on his feet and ultimately, back to work. In those cases, transport to and from those treatments might be needed, and again, Urgent Medical Transport is the way to go.

There are two things to note here. First, transport to and from medical facilities in either of these instances is absolutely covered by Worker’s Comp Insurance (you can get reimbursement for travel expenses via completion of the OWCP-957 “Medical Travel Refund Request” form (to be mailed to the Department of Labor—form available on, and second, that Urgent Medical Transport can take a variety of forms. It could actually be anything from a van with a wheelchair lift on the back (if needed), to a vehicle very like an ambulance, but configured only for urgent (and not emergency) level care, or even air transport if that is what is deemed necessary.

There are a variety of companies in the specific business of offering these services to companies that need them. You owe it to yourself and to your company to check them out. If this is not something you’ve given much thought to before now, you’ll be extremely glad you did!