Winnebago Industries was challenged by safety hazards in its production facilities along with hard surfaces and long hours taking a physical toll on manufacturing workers. Only 40% of work areas had anti-fatigue mats, and the lower-quality mats in place were wearing out quickly and providing no ergonomic support.
Safety managers had to replace mats every 4 months due to deterioration and trip hazards, which halted production and stressed the overall safety budget. There was also confusion around what mat styles to order when needs came up, leading to the wrong mats for the application – impacting safety and costs even further.
Most of the previous matting came in rolls which was cut to length by operators, wasting valuable time and creating additional trip hazards. Teams were also layering and stacking old mats to create comfort for their joints and muscles. The stacking caused trip hazards, and the inconsistent surfaces strained worker health.
Continuing down this path would impact the long-term health and safety of employees. It also would have required replacing over 19,000 sq. ft. of matting in 2022 alone.
Winnebago's previous mats were lacking critical ergonomic support, leading to operators stacking them to find comfort. According to Mary Plehal, Ergonomist and Certified Occupational Therapist, stacking mats is akin to "working in high heels every day," and leads to greater risk of musculoskeletal injuries.
Similar to mats being stacked, many of Winnebago's mats were too small or the incorrect size. This led to operators working on cement as often as the mats, further increasing ergonomic injury risks and trip hazards from constant on/off transitions.
Winnebago was previously buying long rolls of mat and cutting them to fit individual work areas. This impacted operator productivity, led to the wrong size and shape, and resulted in some mats having no beveled edges at all.
Winnebago also “standardized” its mat approach with AcroMat.
Standardizing involves uniting your anti-fatigue mat approach across a facility, multiple facilities, or entire organization. This eliminates confusion when new mats are needed, eliminates time-consuming product searches, elevates health and safety as each line knows exactly what mat type and features are needed for their environment and, as a result, reduces year-over-year costs – as evidenced by Winnebago’s approach.
To help Winnebago create a standard, AcroMat conducted thorough facility assessments, identified the specific types of mats and features needed, and brought it all together in a formal Standard Work Instruction (SWI). Winnebago then made this document readily available to every department and facility.
$150,000 in Cost Savings
The previous mat strategy for 16 additional Winnebago locations, projected over 5 years, was set to cost the company $572,000 in mat disposal and new purchases – not counting potential production lost, health issues, and safety risks. Using the SWI, these 16 facilities had a strategic plan to widely communicate and immediately begin to follow.
Investing in AcroMat 100-1 Series and NitriTuf Diamond Series mats, which last up to 8 years, is saving these 16 facilities more than $150,000 over 5 years.
On average, each of the 16 facilities will save over $2,000 a year – expenses that can now be allotted to other health and safety initiatives.
The ADA-compliant, 20-degree yellow borders along this L-shaped mat allow carts to easily navigate on/off the mat. The molded yellow border clearly highlights entry and exit points in an area that needs extra precaution.
Custom cutouts allow this NitriTuf Diamond mat to slide under the work table. This prevents the heavy table legs from quickly damaging the mat (reducing its lifespan) and ensures the work area is fully covered with critical ergonomic support.
The previous mats lasted just 4 months, creating a heavy accumulation of waste. Teams were throwing away thousands of pounds of anti-fatigue mats each year. The AcroMat 100-1 Series and Diamond NitriTuf Series mats last up to 8 years.
They can be cleaned without breaking down, repaired if rips or tears develop, and easily trimmed and repurposed to extend lifespans.
Winnebago is deeply committed to environmental stewardship. By investing in premium anti-fatigue mats and using proactive care and cleaning measures, the company has reduced mat waste from hundreds of pounds every few months to zero pounds for up to 8 years.
Designed with AcroSketch, this one-piece custom mat wraps around a lift table – eliminating the need to piece together 4-5 standard rectangular mats to try and cover the work area.
A simple peninsula cutout addition to this 100-1 Series mat ensures this operator never has to step off the mat during her 8+ hour shift.
Health and Safety Support
Winnebago's anti-fatigue mats are made from premium nitrile. The material is scientifically designed to never flatten – reducing fatigue and joint impact indefinitely, supporting healthy circulation, and offering more comfort for workers who stand long hours.
Additional health and safety benefits experienced by Winnebago workers:
Anti-slip properties. The anti-slip properties have reduced slipping hazards on top of the mats. The properties also prevent mats from sliding in areas where metal shavings and other particles can accumulate.
Super bevels. The 20-degree yellow “super bevels” create a smooth surface for workers to roll carts over, improving productivity. They also reduce the risk of tripping by creating a smooth transition on/off mats. The yellow borders also more clearly highlight entry and exit points.
Antimicrobial. The mats are antimicrobial, liquid proof, and chemical resistant, which supports worker health by preventing harmful growth of microbes like mold, fungi, and viruses. The mats don’t allow liquids to penetrate, which can cause mats to crack and limit lifespans. The chemical-resistant and liquid-proof properties enable workers to simply wipe up particles and spills without concern.
Pure nitrile never loses its ergonomic cushion.
The NitriTuf Diamond Series is the only diamond mat on the market guaranteed not to curl.
Winnebago Employee Testimonials
"The new mats are much better. My feet aren’t sore anymore. I like that they go around the whole table. Makes the work go smoother being able to move around the whole area."
"The new mats don’t rip like the old ones did. Before, you’d drop a part or a tool, and it would tear a hole right through the old ones. The new ones are more durable and a lot more comfortable."
"My back and knees feel a lot better, and these ones don’t tear like the old ones. My whole body just feels better using these."
"I don’t trip as much like when we had to stack them together. More comfortable, feels like wearing a good pair of shoes."
Employee Testimonial (Video):
Combined with strategic safety and engagement initiatives, Winnebago has elevated employee health, safety, and productivity. The safety management team continues to implement AcroMat anti-fatigue mats throughout their facilities – further improving the company’s trajectory of cost savings and budget flexibility.
Learn more about Winnebago’s commitment to employee health and safety, including how the company reduced its recordable incident rate by 70% in 2022: Corporate Responsibility Report