Protective clothing are personal protective equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from susceptible harm and infection. Protective clothing includes high-visibility vests, footwear, respiratory aids, gloves, helmets, harnesses, and eye protection gear. These clothing find application in various working environments that are deemed hazardous for legs and feet, such as dampness, falling objects, cuts, slips, chemical spillages, and abrasive materials. In order to prevent such hazards, there is an increased use of oil and chemical resistant soles on shoes and boots, safety boots with steel toe caps, leggings, and gaiters. This has augmented growth of protective clothing market across the globe.
Gloves, based on the chemical compatibility are being used while working with chemicals exhibiting a high acute toxicity and highly concentrated corrosive materials. In construction industry, fall arresting systems such as body harnesses, lifelines, and other accompanying equipment are used when fall hazards cannot be controlled by railings, floors, and nets. Protective clothing is used in the healthcare industry to prevent transmission of microorganisms such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and Staphylococcus aureus.
Protective Clothing Market Taxonomy
On the basis of type of material, the global market is classified into:
On the basis of end-use industry, the global market is segmented into:
On the basis of application, the global market is segmented into:
Protective clothing is used in the construction, chemicals, and oil & gas industries, owing to properties such as inherent non-flammability, high durability, and excellent dimensional stability resistance to chemicals and heat. In the chemicals industry, it is used for protection against liquid chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid, and also hazardous gases. It is also used for protection from flame, welding, heat, and sparks from molten metal. In the mining industry, protective equipment such as waterproof suits, breathing masks, and helmets are widely used. Protective clothing made from polyamides, offers various benefits such as protection against flames, high mechanical strength, excellent thermo stability, high chemical resistance, and protection against gas emissions.
Protective Clothing Market Outlook – Increasing Safety Concerns and Hazard Prevention Expected to Fuel Demand
Hazardous work environment and stringent regulations for employee safety has rapidly amplified the consumption of protective clothing globally. Laws such as The Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989, The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, The Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002, The Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999, The Noise at Work Regulations 1989, The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002, and others have inadvertently boosted growth of the protective clothing market. The Asia Pacific region is expected to possess maximum potential for elastomeric coating manufacturers. The market in the region is projected to witness relatively high growth in terms of value, over the forecast period. Growing population coupled with rapidly increasing manufacturing and allied industries is expected to fuel demand for protective clothing in the region, which in turn is anticipated to enhance the protective clothing industry.
High initial price of the protective clothing is expected to be one of the restraining factors for the growth of the protective clothing market over the forecast period. Innovation in products and expansions in different geographies are some of the key strategies adopted by the top players in the protective clothing market. In 2016, Honeywell announced investment of US$ 100 million for expansion of the Asia Pacific regional headquarters and R&D facilities in Shanghai. This would complement the company’s network of R&D facilities across the globe. Some of the major companies operating in the market globally are 3M Company, Kimberly Clark Corp, Ansell Limited, Lakeland industries, Honeywell International Inc., Royal Ten Cate, Sioen Industries NV, and E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.
Increasing research for the development of thermally responsive protective clothing is expected to propel the market growth. For instance, in October 2018, researchers from Soochow University, China, reported incorporation of shape memory alloy springs into a three-layer firefighter turnout suit material to develop thermally responsive protective clothing that actuated to create extra air gap between the fabric layers under exposures to thermal hazards.
Key players in the market are focused on adopting collaboration strategies to enhance their market share. For instance, on September 06, 2019, Dunlop Protective Footwear USA and Upstart Group USA announced a collaboration on an overall strategy to distribute Dunlop’s renowned protective footwear on the Amazon marketplace.
Key market players are also focused on product upgrade to enhance their market share. For instance, in August 2019, Ergodyne, a division of Tenacious Holdings, Inc. and producer of work gloves, safety glasses, knee pads, supports, and head protection, announced launch of new products to its extensive line of N-Ferno cold-weather gear such as beanie cap with super-bright LED lights, hard hat liners with detachable mouthpieces, a neoprene mouthpiece for hard hat winter liners, and a soft knit hat with reflective badge.