Human bodies are immensely delicate, subject to physical, chemical and biological dangers. While strength and agility can help in reducing risks, protective gear is essential when spending time in dangerous environments, whether for work and leisure. The need for personal safety has given rise to the market for personal protective equipment (PPE). The concept of PPE is ancient, from the very first shields and helmets, however, the initial forms of PPE were directed towards protection during warfare, but now the protection is from day-to-day hazards.
Personal protective equipment includes protective clothing, helmets, masks, goggles, gloves, protective shoes, guards,confined space breathing equipment, and more. The equipment used is based on the potential hazards, whether physical, heat, chemicals, airborne particles or even biohazards and is designed according to the potential hazard. Since the PPE simply protects the individual from risks and does not influence the risk at the source, it’s essential that the PPE be of excellent quality. Personal protective equipment is classified on the basis of hazard protected from, type of equipment and area of body protected.
Recent Growth of Personal Protective Equipment Market
The personal protective equipment market size has been expanding at a steady rate, having reached a value of $46 billion in 2018, the PPE market is set to reach a value of $65 billion by 2023, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7 percent. The mining industry PPE market itself accounts for nearly 10 percent of the total PPE market value. There are several trends that have influenced the recent growth of the personal protective equipment market.
- Demand for PPE: The demand for personal protective equipment is driven by increasing industrialization, government regulations, foreign investments and greater awareness among those working in hazardous conditions, such as in construction. The rising trend of people attempting home repairs independently is also driving the demand for easily accessible personal protective equipment. Industrial sectors driving the demand for PPE at a global level include oil and gas, construction, chemicals, metal manufacturing, automotive and healthcare.
- Advertising: The personal protective equipment market is moving beyond B2B and also engaging in B2C, and there has accordingly been an increase in the advertising directly to consumers, especially by global distributors. Suppliers are also incorporating aspects of fashion and comfort in addition to quality to increase appeal to consumers. Popular trends include offering supply solutions, selling products through online platforms, marketing products, and customer loyalty products.
- Technology and PPE: The latest revolution to hit the personal protective equipment market is the development PPE that have technological capabilities, such as wireless technology. The combination of technology with personal protective equipment and wearables result in equipment that can measure environmental conditions, personal conditions and also alert others in case of any mishap. Wearables can identify any change in heart rate, body temperature, and biometrics, alerting others if there is an emergency. High tech cameras and sensors attached to PPE and transmitting information real-time make it possible to conduct tasks efficiently that require real-time instructions.
- Global Dynamics: The supply market for the global PPE industry is highly fragmented, with Europe leading as the largest demand market, followed by North America, the APAC, Middle East and Africa. High market maturity regions are the U.S., Germany, the U.K., Ireland, France, Italy, Australia, and Japan. In comparison, the medium market maturity regions are Eastern Europe, the U.A.E, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, India, and China. Top global industrial distributors are Honeywell Life Safety, 3M, Ansell, MSA Safety, Alpha Pro Tech, and Dupont.
- Impact of Automation: Advancements in the field of automation have resulted in machines being used in tasks that are risky for humans, for example in factories and laboratories. This has decreased the use of personal protective equipment. However, there are many fields where automation cannot be applied and require humans to venture in dangerous environments, such as mining. Therefore the impact of automation in the PPE market can be considered negligible, especially when considering the increase in the use of PPE by consumers and for adventure sports.
- Government Regulations: As personal protective equipment plays a significant role in safety, the PPE market is subject to extensive government regulations based on the region of manufacture and use to verify that the products meet the required quality standards. Relevant regulatory bodies include OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration),ANSE (Association of National Organisations for Supervision in Europe),CSA (Canadian Standards Association), MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration), NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), and NFPA (National Fire Protection Association).
The personal protective equipment market has grown at a steady pace over the past few years and the growth is expected to continue. Although automation is reducing the market for PPE in a few areas, there is an overpowering demand across numerous industries. Demands for PPE that can protect against biohazards is rising as are the demands from the direct consumer segment. Need for safety is a strong driving factor behind the PPE market.