In Maine, VDT training is required by Maine's Department of Labor for any public sector employee that works on a computer as part of their duties for more than 4 hours a day (for a weekly total of 20 hours).  The employer is responsible to assess duties of employees and designate which employees are required to work on their computers for more than 20 hours a week.  The employer is also responsible to initially train these employees and to provide annual refresher training.  Individuals or groups of individuals can obtain the initial VDT training by taking (AND documenting) on-line or live presentation of the course called "Maine Video Display Terminal Law", which is linked below.  Annual refresher training for VDTs may be simply a refresher of the topic points of the initial course and these annual refreshers must be documented as well.  A sample refresher course is detailed below and called "Annual VDT Refresher Course".   

NOTE: School systems must provide "live" training (a presenter must be available) if SIX or MORE employees are subject to the VDT training law.

A) Link to Initial VDT Training Course:



To document REFRESHER training, please print out this page and then sign and date it!

A) Refresher Information.  Most school staff are not expected to work on computers for more than 4 hours a day (20 hours a week), but some are.  Is it important to understand ergonomics, or the science of fitting the job to the person, for repetitive jobs like keyboarding.  Repetitive motion injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome, are painful and sometimes require the person to be out of work.  Understanding overuse/repetitive motion injuries and preventing them are two of the best ways to safeguard employees from these injuries.  

Most repetitive strains and injuries happen gradually over a period of time, but sometimes they can occur quickly.  Some common symptoms are pains, aches, numbness, tingling, swelling, and decreased strength and range of motion.  In short, if your body doesn't feel quite right, stop and figure out why!  Many factors can cause repetitive/overuse injuries like prolongued standing or sitting, repetitive motion, awkward positions, heat/cold, and posture.  However, these injuries do not happen to everyone as every body is different!

In schools, VDT injuries center mostly around keyboard and monitor usage.  There are several keys to avoiding VDT repetitive motion injuries and they are as follows:

    1) Change tasks regularly and try not to do any one activity more than a couple hours in a row.        
        Vary what you are doing!

    2) Stretch often!  Take small "micro-breaks" to stretch hands, necks, and arms at least once an hour.
        Take major muscle group breaks (walks, etc.) about every two hours during intense activity.
        Check with your employer regarding allowable breaks. 

    3) Stay in shape.  Studies have shown that people who exercise and break up their activities are less 
        prone to repetitive injuries.

    4)  Most importantly, stay in a neutral position!  

                - Your forearms and thighs should be almost horizontal, feet flat on floor.

                - Your arms should be down by your side and relaxed when using the keyboard and mouse.

                - Your screen should be slightly below eye level, about 2 feet from your eyes, strait ahead!

                - Your back should be against the back of the seat with good support for your lower back.

                -  The desk and chair have to fit so that you are in a neutral position.  
                    Footrests, adjustable workstations, and keyboard trays can help achieve neutral.

Last and most important:  It is important to understand repetitive/overuse symptoms and issues so that they can be detected early. Early detection may help lessen the pain and duration of the injury.  Seek medical help early if you feel repetitive injury symptoms and report them immediately to your supervisor! 




(Keep a copy of this refresher for your records and forward a copy to your supervisor)