Research Reports on the Safety Market

March 1, 2008
No question about it: Sales executives looking for market research reports on the safety market have a wide assortment from which to choose. The

No question about it: Sales executives looking for market research reports on the safety market have a wide assortment from which to choose. The Web site, for instance, lists and describes 40 reports issued in the past 2 years that contain the term “safety equipment” in their keyword search terms. These reports discuss safety equipment markets either worldwide or for specific regions or countries.

These reports “can be useful market research tools to manufacturers and distributors,” says Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts Reports and Specialists in Business Information (SBI). “These reports can help a manager get up to speed quickly on the marketplace, and to see what the competition is like and what the drivers are of the market.”

Meerman suggests executives use the data from the report, along with his or her company's own sales numbers, to get an accurate snapshot of the market. “From what I understand, that's what our customers do all the time,” she adds.

Are you a product manager for a line of personal protective equipment (PPE) or other safety equipment or a marketing executive who is trying to find out who has issued a report on PPE or some other part of the workplace safety market? “The best place to start is It should be your first stop whenever you are starting a market research project,” Meerman told EHS Today.

“Marketers,” she continued, “can go to the site and see what's already out there. You might be able to buy a report that will instantly and economically satisfy your organization's needs.” She calls the Web site the “the of syndicated market research.”

A New PPE Report

A new SBI report covering occupational safety and related markets, “Personal Protective Equipment in the U.S.,” was issued February 2008. The report classifies the PPE market into four segments: body and clothing protection, hand and foot protection, head and face protection and respiratory protection.

SBI estimates that the U.S. market for PPE reached $6.4 billion in 2007, growing 7 percent over the 2006 level of $5.9 billion. In its PPE report, SBI said that “for the most part, growth was robust between 1997 and 2007.” Two categories - “Body Protection, Clothing, Other” and “Hand & Foot Protection” - accounted for more than two-thirds of the PPE market in 2007, according to SBI estimates.

Imports of PPE to the United States grew an estimated 10 percent in 2006 to top the $2 billion mark for the first time, said SBI analysts. One reason for increased imports was the fact that more companies were relying on cheaper production from overseas. For 2007, however, SBI estimated that imports grew only by 2 percent. The declining value of the dollar, said SBI, made many PPE imports less attractive. Some factors that SBI sees affecting the growth of the PPE market in the years ahead include:

  • OSHA's long-awaited employer- pay-for-PPE standard that was issued in the fall of 2007.
  • An aging workforce.
  • Product innovation from PPE manufacturers.
  • The slowdown in U.S. residential construction and other economic concerns.

SBI predicted that the U.S. market for PPE will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3 percent, and could reach the $7.2 billion mark by 2012. Growth in the PPE market in the United States, according to SBI, will be weak in 2008 and possibly 2009. By 2010, however, growth in the marketplace should begin to pick up again.

The Global PPE Market

The SBI report estimates that the worldwide market for PPE reached $16.1 billion in 2007, rising 10 percent over the 2006 level of $14.6 billion.

SBI used data from government reports and expert sources, trade associations and their publications, business journals, company literature and investment reports to develop its estimates.

While “Personal Protective Equipment in the U.S.” includes a competitive overview with information on recent mergers and acquisitions in the PPE market, other sections in the report that could be valuable to PPE manufacturers, marketers and distributors include: Distribution & Promotion Trends, Marketing & Promotion, End-User Analysis by Major Segments & Sectors, Marketing Trends and Category Analyses.

For more information, visit or

Michael Keating is the research editor for EHS Today. He can be reached at [email protected].

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