Head, eye & face protection, hearing, protective clothing, respiratory, protective footwear, fall and hand protection are key industry product segments. Head, eye and face protection is imperative to protect against chemical, environmental, mechanical or radioactive irritants and hazards and is used in long shoring, shipyard employment and construction industry. This segment may see revenue of over USD 7 Billion by 2023, at 7.3% CAGR.
Hearing protection is used in workplace conditions where noise cannot be reduced at the source. These are worn in order to prevent occupational deafness. Earplugs and sound detectors are used for this purpose.
Durable personal protective (PP) clothing offers the highest possible protection in extreme conditions. Durable protective clothing is able to withstand high pressure damage and is wear resistant. These products are best suited for heat & flame, radiations and mechanical protection.
Disposable PP clothing complies with plastic disposable regulations and finds application for general protective clothing including clean room clothing, limited general use clothing and microbial clothing. These products are used in work environments with minimalistic hazardous or non-hazardous contaminants and medium-to-low risk to human health and safety.
Respiratory protection equipment safeguards employees against harmful dusts, insufficient oxygen environments, smokes, fogs, mists, vapors, gases, and sprays. These hazards may cause lung impairment, cancer, diseases, or death. Given its significance, industry experts anticipate segment growth at 7.6% CAGR from 2016 to 2023.
Protective footwear including safety shoes and boots must be worn by all workers who may be exposed to the risk of a foot injury from rolling or falling objects. Fall protection is used to prevent injuries from falling from an elevation. It includes rope grab, shock-absorbing lanyard, cross arm strap, retractable lifeline, full body harness, restraining belt and carabineer. Segment industry revenue is set to exceed USD 12.5 Billion by 2023.
Safety standards by regulatory agencies including OSHA, mainly in Europe and North America are a major growth driver. Worker health & safety conventions and TQM (Total Quality Management) practices will fuel PPE market size, making compliance mandatory across industries to ensure employee workplace safety.
Key fibers widely applied for PPE production include aramids, HDPE fibers, polybenzimidazole(PBI), carbon impregnated fibers, aramid spunlace materials, fiberglass, steel, copper, nylon & polyester and cotton & wool. Teijin Ltd., Royal Tencate, W.L. Gore & Associates Inc., Honeywell and Kimberly-Clark Corporation are key fiber manufacturers for the industry.
Core personal protective equipment companies include Alpha Protech, RockFall, 3M, Honeywell, DuPont and JAL. Technology innovation for performance and product enhancement is a key competitive strategy in the industry. For example, DuPont and Ansell have jointly developed a new glove technology called intercept technology which ensures high level of cut resistance.
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