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Custom-Engineered Metal Edge Protector for Hand Safety

Sorting packages on distribution center equipment

The Customer & Goal

A large retailer operates numerous distribution centers in North America. Warehouse employees help pack and ship countless products every day in the retailers’ facilities. The retailer’s main objective is to help customers receive the products they need, while keeping employees safe and healthy on the job.

The Challenge: Hand Injuries in the Workplace

The head of safety coordination for the retailer’s national distribution centers received complaints from multiple assembly packing teams. Personnel responsible for handling packages in the warehouses injured their hands often.

As employees stood at the receiving end of a pass-through window, packages traveled through the chute towards them. When they reached out to accept the package, employees cut their hands, fingers or knuckles on the chute’s rough metal edges.

The head safety coordinator received repeated safety complaints, which raised a red flag at the national distribution center. He needed a warehouse safety product to mitigate hand injuries in his workplaces.

The Solution: A Metal Edge Protector

The head safety coordinator partnered with Trim-Lok to customize edge guards for their distribution center chutes. They needed a protective edge that provided a soft cushion for employees’ hands but would also withstand daily rugged contact.

Trim-Lok’s research and design team traveled to the retailer’s distribution center. Our R&D team saw the problem firsthand, identified the challenges and obtained samples of the chutes. We brought the samples back to Trim-Lok headquarters where we measured and designed a custom metal edge protector.

The Trim-Lok team received the request a few months before the holiday season. The turnaround time was 3–4 weeks—much faster than a normal 6–8 week project. Our team needed to source raw material, cut tooling and approve prints. Our strong collaboration and years of edge trim expertise made it possible to design and manufacture the best possible solution.

Closed-Cell Sponge Bulb

A special closed-cell sponge bulb provides cushion and protection for assembly operators. Instead of injuring their hands on the chute’s rough metal edge, chute operators feel confident that the bulb provides a layer of soft protection.

Tapered Legs & Dual Tongue

Two legs taper back toward the panel after installation. This tapered design deflects oncoming boxes and packages to ensure they don’t rip the edge guard off the metal chute edges. Additionally, a soft dual tongue configuration provides extra grip retention. White tongues contrast with the black clips, to ensure assemblers can visually identify when the piece is aligned and secure.

Thermoplastic Material

Material selection was extremely important. The edge guard needed to snap on tightly so packages wouldn’t nudge it off. Trim-Lok’s engineered thermoplastic material provides a secure, snap-like fit. It is also impact resistant and has excellent memory, allowing it to return to its intended shape after a box travels down the chute and makes impact with the edge protector.


Custom metal edge protector for distribution center equipment

The Results: Increased Hand Safety

During its month-long trial period at one distribution center, the metal edge protector received overwhelmingly positive reviews. As a result, the head safety coordinator confirmed that the product would improve hand safety at all national locations, including 45 locations in the U.S. and two in Canada.

Trim-Lok is now in the parts catalog for all new distribution centers that the retailer opens in the United States. Trim-Lok also supplied a video to help installers to fit the warehouse safety product consistently and accurately at new locations across the country. Chute operators now work fast and efficiently without injuring their hands.

Interested in customizing an edge guard or edge trim? Use our product builder to get started.

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