The global personal protective equipment industry size stood at USD 91.55 billion in 2021 and will grow with the push for increased employee health & safety, according to the “Personal Protective Equipment Industry Data Book, 2023 – 2030,” published by Grand View Research. The prevalence of injuries and illness from radiological, physical, chemical, electrical and other workplace hazards has spurred the demand for safety glasses, gloves, shoes, full-body suits and vests.
PPE manufacturers and suppliers have responded to safety regulations with an increased inclination for kits. Predominantly, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s Workforce Safety Innovation Center (WSIC) exemplifies PPE and personal protective technology innovations to boost workplace safety.
Magnified investments in the PPE business have come on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic and technological advancements, including clothing with sensors and thermoplastic-coated protective gloves. Industry leaders in food service, healthcare, oil & gas, mining, construction and manufacturing sectors will continue to infuse funds into the landscape.
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Opportunities in Hand Protection Equipment
End-use sectors have exhibited heightened demand for work gloves that provide better dexterity, comfort, safety, chemical protection and cut & impact protection. Notably, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) asserts that around 70.9% of arm and hand injuries could have been prevented using PPE. Prominently, hand protective gloves—both reusable and disposable—are expected to be sought across industrial and healthcare industries.
Heightened demand for disposable latex gloves, rubber gloves and durable gloves will be pronounced to boost safety and hygiene practices. Lately, biodegradable hand protective equipment has come to the fore to propel the sustainability profile; the trend is likely to continue in the ensuing period. These dynamics favor the valuation of the hand protection equipment market size at USD 29.59 billion in 2021 and a CAGR of 5.9% from 2022 to 2030.
Niche Players Target Smart Industrial Protective Clothing
Pure play PPE manufacturers have sought protective clothing across industrial and healthcare sectors. In essence, chemical-resistant jackets have received impetus in pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing. Of late, smart clothing has shown promising growth potentials to detect hazardous conditions and gas and alert the user to take preventive steps. Wearable technologies, such as smart bands and sensors, have witnessed an exponential demand to monitor and track heart rate, respiration, fatigue, heat stress and exposure.
The industrial protective clothing market size was pegged at USD 18.93 billion in 2021 and could exhibit a 6.9% CAGR through 2030. Industry leaders are bullish on lightweight protective clothing, which has inevitably amassed popularity in glass plants and other hot industries. The protective gear has become sought-after to bolster mobility and agility across oil & gas, semiconductors, pharmaceuticals and healthcare industries.
Stakeholders are expected to zero in on trends and opportunities to augment RoI. In doing so, below highlighted industry dynamics are expected to remain instrumental in the near term:
- Fall protection equipment, such as horizontal lifelines, anchors, lanyards and confined space solutions will witness an uptake due to soaring construction activities and a rise in infrastructure projects.
- PPE manufacturers will continue to inject funds into respiratory protection equipment to protect workers from airborne contaminants or help wearers in an environment with reduced oxygen levels.
- Asia Pacific has emerged as a fast-growing market with an increased emphasis on workplace safety, competition from low-cost suppliers and growth in manufacturing, mining, construction and healthcare sectors.
Forward-looking companies envisage the U.S. and Canada as happy hunting grounds against the backdrop of innovations, growth in online sales and regulation upgrades. For instance, American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) 105-2016 has become instrumental in addressing the testing and classification of hand protection and improving the level of cut protection.
Industry leaders are likely to harness technology advancements and product portfolio expansion to minimize workplace-related injuries and undergird safety and health management. To illustrate, in July 2022, Honeywell announced investments in Rhino Health USA to augment the production of nitrile gloves in the U.S. Decision-makers are poised to inject funds into the North America PPE industry across protective clothing, gloves, footwear, respiratory protection and fall protection equipment.
Stakeholders, including pure play PPE companies, raw material suppliers, retailers and investors are slated to bank on dynamics shaping the global market. Organic and inorganic strategies—innovation, technological developments, product offerings, mergers & acquisitions and R&D activities—will remain noticeable during the forecast period. Incumbents will likely infuse funds into recyclability amidst surge in PPE waste. For instance, in April 2023, Kimberly-Clark Professional announced the expansion of The RightCycle Programme to Switzerland and the Netherlands to foster recycling efforts for industrial personal protective equipment (PPE) waste, cleanroom and non-hazardous labs.
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