Work-from-home set-up injures white-collar worker

An employee who failed to complete his employer’s “working from home” checklist, during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been awarded compensation, with a tribunal ruling his un-ergonomic home office set-up significantly contributed to his right shoulder injury.

The worker had been employed by the Australian Taxation Office since November 2010 and began working from home for the pandemic, at which time he began experiencing pain in his right shoulder that progressively worsened over a number of weeks.

According to the worker, he used his kitchen table as a desk which meant his chair was “lower than the chair at his office, his table was higher than the office”, and his right arm “was considerably higher” than usual when using his mouse.

The worker visited his doctor in August of 2020, and was subsequently diagnosed with a “SLAP labral tear of the superior labrum extending to the anteroinferior quadrant with mild synovitis in the axillary recess”.