The Suffolk County Legislature has approved a law to protect operators of video display terminals in private businesses.

The ordinance, which takes effect Nov. 10, covers all businesses which have 20 or more VDTs and their employees who work more than 26 hours a week at the terminals.

It requires a 15-minute break after every three hours of work on the terminals and also sets standards for lighting and for the chairs on which the workers are seated in front of the VDTs.

It also mandates that employers must pay 80 percent of the cost of eye examinations and a similar portion of the cost of glasses, if they are needed.

The bill, sponsored by Legislator John Foley, D-Blue Point, was approved Tuesday by a vote of 13-2. The three remaining legislators abstained from the vote, which was along non-partisan lines.