Protective clothing is referred to as textile structures that offer protection to the human body from an external hazard. It offers protection against bullet, chemical, and biological agents, fire, cold, and heat. This clothing finds immense use in several military, sports, and industrial applications.
One of the main objectives of protective clothing is to provide comfortable clothing offering low-cost, light-weight systems with superior performance characteristics. The market is projected to grow at a significant pace due to the growing demand to achieve industrial safety at the international level. It has been widely observed that several workplace injuries take place every year, thus, promoting the need for manufacturing clothing systems that provide complete protection for the individuals working at dangerous sites. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were around 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries reported by the private industry employers. A substantial amount of non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported from 2014 to 2018. There were 3 million injuries reported in 2014, in 2015 and 2016, the number of injuries reported was 2.9 million, while in 2017 and 2018, there were 2.8 million injuries and illnesses reported. Owing to this substantial amount, the market is predicted to surge over the next five years.
Source: BLS, non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses, in million
There are several regulations for the safety of the industry personnel, such regulations are further contributing to increasing the global protective clothing market growth during the forecast period. For example, ISO, which is an independent, and non-governmental international organization comprising membership of 164 national standard bodies. The organization has certain standards for protective clothing, that include flameproof clothing as well. Some of the standards or projects include ISO/TR 2801:2007 for providing protection against heat and flame; ISO 6529:2013 protective clothing standard for protection against chemicals; ISO 6530:2005 protective clothing for protection against liquid chemicals; ISO 6942:2002 protective clothing for protection against heat and fire; and ISO 8194:1987 for protection against radioactive contamination.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also recommend the use of personal protective equipment including protective clothing for avoiding workplace injuries. According to the hazards or workplace conditions, OSHA recommends the utilization of engineering for managing or eliminating the accidents to greater extent. However, there are conditions when workplace controls do not provide the required protection level to the industry personnel. In that case, the organization recommend that the employers must provide personal protective equipment to the employees ensuring its usage as well. PPE that range from gloves to full body suits are capable of providing sufficient protection from industrial hazards. OSHA is a part of the United States Department of Labor. The organization mission is in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, the Congress created the organization and is focused on ensuring safe and healthful working conditions for men and women in industries by framing and enforcing standards, in addition, the organization focuses on providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.
With the increasing automation in industries, specifically in the developing economies of the world, the market is projected to impede during the forecast period. This is mainly due to the fact that with automation and advent of industry 4.0 trend, efforts are being made to replace humans from active worksites and robots or automatic machines will be substituted.
There are various aspects of personal clothing (PC) that include smart textiles, NBC protection, and ballistic protection among others. The companies worldwide are manufacturing protective clothing according to the different end-user needs and are generating higher revenues along with extending their geographical outreach, further propelling the market growth over the forecast period.
Diagrammatic Representation of Different Aspects of Protective Clothing
One of the interesting applications of protective clothing involve smart textile applications, these include self-healing textiles, self-cleaning textiles, thermoregulating textiles, electronic textiles, electro and thermo active textiles, smart camouflage textiles, shape-memory nanofibers, pH sensitive nanofibers, energy generator nanofibers, and conductive nanofibers. Smart textiles are gaining traction these days, this is because of the fact that they are designed using materials that are capable of sensing, actuating, generating or storing power and are used for communication. Smart textiles are utilized in healthcare, and sportswear, also, these are useful in various military operations. These textiles are able to contribute in offering protection and safety in the following ways. First, smart textiles are capable of detecting conditions signaling increased danger, they help in the prevention of accidents by sending out a warning signal in case of detection of a hazardous condition. Additionally, in case of serious threats, these textiles react by offering instant protection to the user. The advent of smart textiles is further providing strong growth prospects for global protective clothing market during the forecast period. Even though smart textile is still an emerging field, many products have been introduced in the market. In the European region, it has been reported that strong research, product development, and prototyping are taking place by the incorporation of electronics into textiles. However, the manufacturing in the region is currently at a small scale in addition to the other regions of the world, with technological advancements in protective clothing, smart textiles will continue to grow at a significant pace in the future.
The current COVID-19 pandemic scenario has created a high demand for protective clothing for healthcare workers around the globe. The manufacturers are working hard in order to scale up the production facilities in America and European regions, this is however not an easy task. One of the main reasons include that the production is being outsourced to Asia to a high extent, and this has resulted in supply chain disruptions in other countries. Due to the rapid surge in the number of patients suffering from coronavirus infections, the demand worldwide has escalated and the supply chain is not capable of fulfilling this high demand. Highly demanded products include face masks, coveralls, gowns, and gloves. In response to the global emergency, FDA has made certain initiatives in waving some requirements through Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), allowing the utilization of NIOSH approved products in order to increase the availability of important PPE for healthcare workers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Vibha Saklani is a Market Research Analyst at KSI, working on the estimates and global reports on multiple industries spanning from IoT to food and beverages, with a special knack for healthcare, medical devices, and related markets. With the addition of her formal education in Biotechnology and having a research background, she is able to shed more light on the detailed analysis of the story. To read more articles by her, and for more information regarding multiple global markets, visit www.knowledge-sourcing.com.