Eye and face protection equipment forms an integral part of the overall personal protective equipment market. Demand for these products has surged over the past few years due to an increasing awareness among workers about workplace safety and the rising incidence of accidents taking place in factories. Therefore, the need for eye and face protective products has also risen across a range of end-use industries. This equipment is effective in terms of protecting the eye and face from injuries such as burns, cuts, hazardous chemicals, and harmful gases. In recent times, the usage of such products has increased among workers and the demand for them is therefore likely to expand during the forecast period.
Increased workplace accidents over the past few years have paved the way for an augmented requirement for eye and face protection equipment among workers who require high levels of safety. Worker protection has been made mandatory by regulatory bodies – such as the occupational health and safety administration (OHSA) which has set specific guidelines – for a number of end-use industries including chemicals, manufacturing, and construction. This stimulates the demand for eye and face protective equipment and leads to rapid expansion of this market. The wide application scope of this industry also plays an important role.
Automation of the production process, however, is by far a major factor responsible for restricting the development of this market. The trend of mechanization replacing and reducing the number of employees is gaining substantial popularity among various end-use industries such as automotive, pharmaceuticals, and semiconductors. The resultant improved productivity of manufacturing companies, the benefit of hazardous tasks requiring minimal manual involvement, and the need for enhanced efficiency and precision are major factors propelling the demand for automation in these end-use industries. This is expected to negatively impact the growth of eye and face protection equipment and this particular restraint is likely to magnify by the end of the forecast period. However, developing regions such as Asia Pacific and Latin America display significant potential for the advancement of this market, thus creating suitable opportunities for growth.
The market for eye and face protection is bifurcated on the basis of product types into eyeglass/goggles, welding shields, and face shields. Its application areas include construction, manufacturing, oil & gas, chemicals, food, pharmaceuticals, and transportation. Geographically, Europe and North America are the frontrunners of this market and anticipated to retain their respective positions throughout the forecast period. However, Asia Pacific is likely to witness a rapid growth during the forecast period on account of rapid industrialization and increasing foreign investments in several developing countries such as China and India. Along with Japan, these are key countries fuelling the demand for eye and face equipment products in Asia Pacific.
The eye and face equipment market is marked by some intense competition from major players operating in this market. Product innovation, joint ventures & partnerships, and mergers & acquisitions are important strategies adopted by them to ensure long-term sustenance. 3M Co, Honeywell Safety, MSA safety, and Uvex Safety are the key players operating in the field of eye and face protection equipment at present.
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