Trends in Personal Protective Equipment

Every year, OSHA releases a Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards list. Over the past five fiscal years, nine of the 10 frequently cited standards have been exactly the same. In fact, the same four standards have been the top four most frequently cited standards on the list for the last five fiscal years. Why is this information significant? The ways in which workers injure themselves change little from year to year. For this reason, personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturers must incorporate new technologies to protect workers from hazards and to ensure companies follow PPE standards.

Safety+Health Magazine collaborated with the International Safety Equipment Association to ask PPE manufacturers what recent trends they observed. Below is a summary of their observations:

  • End users want more comfortable PPE
  • With new technology, “heavier” doesn’t always mean better protection
  • By improving “style,” workers don’t mind wearing PPE, increasing compliance
  • End users want increased safety without sacrificing productivity
  • PPE should be compliant to multiple industries where possible because companies who service multiple industries can purchase the same equipment, keeping their workers safe

The fall protection industry is trending towards temporary fall arrest systems that are transportable. As technology increases, companies can manufacture lighter fall arrest systems without sacrificing system sturdiness. In fact, towable fall arrest systems, such as our Griffin™, are beginning to take the construction market by storm. These towable systems are very appealing because they provide OSHA and ANSI compliant fall protection virtually anywhere on the jobsite.

Actually, according to TechNavio, the Global Fall Protection Equipment market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.95 percent from 2014-2019. The report divides the fall protection market into the following categories: energy and utilities, construction, transportation, telecom, and other industrial sectors. The report also states that the energy and utilities sector will increase, and the market will trend towards product innovation and emphasize fall protection training. The report also confirms that the fall protection market’s biggest challenge is getting companies to comply with regulations and standards.

In addition to the fall protection market predicted growth, according to TechNavio, the entire PPE market is projected to grow at a CAGR of more than 8 percent from 2014-2019. This growth is accredited in part to the increased focus on worker health and safety. As the demand for mandatory PPE increases, so will the market. As the PPE market increases, so will worker safety.

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Nathan Muller

Senior Technical Writer |
Nathan Muller is the Senior Technical Writer for Spanco and Rigid Lifelines. Nathan has nearly four years of experience in technical communications and copyediting. He graduated from Bob Jones University with a B.A. in English and a minor in Professional Writing. He is also a member of the Society of Technical Communication.