Worksurface Edges for Hight-Traffic Areas
From the console structure to the ergonomic accessories, 24/7 work environments will require high-quality furniture equipment in order to withstand the intensive usage over time. However, one of the elements that is often overlooked is the worksurface edge. The edge of the worksurface is one of the main touchpoints between dispatchers and the console. It will be used to rest their wrists, forearms, or elbows which is why its design can have a large impact on their comfort at work. Additionally, the surface edge also serves as a cushion to protect the surface from being scratched by chairs, doors, or people passing by. For these reasons, Sustema makes sure to provide the highest design and quality materials so that something as simple as the edge of the surface does not fall off or stick out over time and so that your users have the latest ergonomic products.
Types of Edges
In this article, we will go over different designs and models of surface edges commonly used in 24/7 applications such as control rooms and 911 dispatch centers.
Known for their unparalleled durability, urethane edges are one of the most popular products used in high-traffic areas such as 9-1-1 dispatch centers. Why you may ask? It is because the manufacturing sealing process eliminates the risk for microbial or moisture growth caused by water, coffee, and even cleaning agents to accumulate. It is also a softer texture than standard edges which is more comfortable to rest your wrist on for long periods of time which also works protects it better from scratches, bumps, and peeling. This is all due to the manufacturing process where the urethane is clamped to the work surface for the urethane to penetrate the fibers of the surface and create a highly tight seal between the two elements.
Waterfall Edge: The following image shows the contact point between the urethane and wood substrate.
Another popular product used in 24/7 work environments are the T-molding edges whose name comes from the method used to attach it to the work surface which creates the shape of a "T". (See pictures below: Bumper). T-edge finish moldings are also used for a wide variety of applications and materials such as aluminum, metal, and wood. In the case of 911 dispatch furniture, edges are often made out of PVC or rubber polymers. The T-molding is manually attached to the work surface by inserting it inside a channel along the edge of the wood particle surface. T-molding edges are made of a semi-soft material which is also resistant to bumps and color change but can easily scratch if not taken care of. However, they are easy to replace in case of an incident. You can recognize T-molding edges as they are often rounded or semi-rounded.
Edgebans are made of polymers, usually PVC, which is attached to the work surface via a gluing and heating process. The glue is first applied to the work surface and rollers then press the edge band to glue it. The surfaces are then stored for the glue to cool down. Most commonly used in standard office and home furniture, edge bands are still a popular choice among consumers. However, they do not offer the same quality in terms of ergonomy for the user and durability as they can stick out over time if the glue used is not of a certain quality. However, edge bands offer great resistants to cracks and scratches.
In our experience, edge bands work great for the sides or perimeter of the console surface which is not exposed to the users due to its lower price and high durability. It is not recommended to be used on the front surface edge since it can tend to peal with intensive usage and does not respect the ergonomic standards to rest your hand and wrists.
Square Corner Edgeband
In conclusion, the surface edge should have the same if not more consideration as the ergonomic chairs as it is one of the main touch areas between operators and their dispatch consoles. The surface edge should be comfortable for long shifts and durable to last the whole life of the console (10+ years). At Sustema, we will work with you to understand your needs and advise you on the best solution for your work environment. Let us know how we can help by using our online chat tool, writing us an email at email@example.com, or calling us directly at 1-800-455-8450.