Global Personal Protective Equipment – Insights
Personal protective equipment (PPE) refers to protective helmets, clothing, footwear, goggles, or other equipment that are designed to protect the wearer’s body from infection or injury. These aid in protecting the body against high volt electric current, certain chemicals, excessive heat, biohazards, and others. Personal protective equipment can be used for various purposes such as occupational safety, sports, and for recreational activities.
Increasing awareness regarding the importance of occupational safety and stringent regulatory framework related to it are major drivers for growth of the personal protective equipment market. For instance, the European Union developed directives to improve safety and health at work and to ensure the quality of PPE is maintained. The directive covers marketing and manufacturing of personal protective equipment and must comply with basic safety and health requirements. However, low awareness about the use of personal protective equipment is anticipated to restrain growth of this market. For instance, according to National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), 2014, Nigeria and South Africa reported poor usage of PPE, where only 35.9% of welders in Nigeria use PPE.
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Professional footwear is the most widely used product and the segment accounted for a market share of 32.50% in 2016 and is expected to retain its dominance throughout the forecast period. For instance, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, out of 12 million work related injuries that occur on an average per year, 10% of the injuries are related to ankles and feet. Moreover, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), reported 250,000 foot injuries per year, that is an average of one injury every 30 seconds.
Manufacturing industry is the major end user of personal protective equipment and the segment is expected to account for the largest share in 2016 and is expected to retain market dominance throughout the forecast period. This includes industries such as metal, paper, and wood & wood products. Therefore, the type of PPE depends on the type of manufacturing industry. According to India Brand Equity Foundation, trust established by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, the manufacturing sector in India witnessed a CAGR of 7.32% in FY12 to FY17. The FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in India has immensely contributed to the manufacturing sector with US$ 72.32 billion in 2000 to 2017. Moreover, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017, there are around 15.4 million people working in the manufacturing industry in the U.S. Therefore, this is expected to aid in growth of the segment over the forecast period.
North America was the dominant region in the global personal protective equipment market in 2016, with a revenue of US$ 14.83 billion, and is expected to retain its dominance throughout the forecast period. This is owing to the adoption of personal protective equipment across various growing industries such as construction industry. For instance, according to the United States census bureau, value of construction increased by 4.5% in 2016 from 2015 in U.S.
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Asia Pacific was the fastest growing region in the global personal protective equipment market in 2016 with a CAGR of 6.63%. Growth is attributed to rapid growth of various industries such as construction, oil and gas, food & beverage, and others in the region. According to International Trade Association, the construction industry in China was US$ 717.71 US$ in 2016 and is expected to increase to US$ 1042.17 billion in 2021. Moreover, major players in this region are focusing on enhancing their market share, through mergers and acquisitions strategy. For instance, in 2015, Ansell Limited —a manufacturer of protective solutions—acquired Microgard Ltd., a UK manufacturer of protective clothing, for US$ 88 million, to enhance the company’s body protection business.
Key players in the market are focusing on various strategies such as extensive research and development activities, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships, and geographical expansions in order to enhance their market share. For instance, in 2017, 3M Company entered into an agreement to acquire Scott Safety Company—a manufacturer of respiratory and personal protective equipment—for US$ 2 billion, to further enhance the company’s personal safety product portfolio.
Major players in the global personal protection equipment market are 3M Company, Mine Safety Appliances Company, Ansell Limited, National Safety Apparel Inc., UVEX, Kimberly-Clark Corp., Honeywell International Inc., Avon Rubber Plc. (Subsidiary of Cooper Tire & Rubber Company), Rock Fall Ltd and Top Glove Corporation.