Appraising the Increase in Demand for Global PPE!

Global PPE

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While the global market for personal protective equipment (PPE) has always been deceptively large, it has recently seen accelerated growth that has been forecast to continue over the course of the next six years.

More specifically, the PPE sector is expected to peak at a value of $118.8 billion by the year 2028, with this highlighting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the forecast period.

There are numerous factors behind this rise in demand for global PPE, such as an increased governmental realisation of it’s value within multiple industries and stricter regulations concerning the use of such equipment, but will this trend continue and in which sectors is the level of demand likely to be most prevalent?

Let’s find out!

The Impact of Covid-19 on PPE Demand

The most recent and noticeable trend can largely be traced back to the Covid-19 pandemic, which exposed a global shortage and scarcity of medical protective equipment that had a direct impact on both professionals working in healthcare and the safety of citizens across the globe.

This issue was particularly prevalent in the UK, of course, where there were endless stories of nurses in emergency care who had to resort to wearing bin bags in the absence of available PPE.

Such shortages in global PPE also caused prices to spiral as demand soared, while the fact so few governments had a viable supply of PPE also triggered significant bottlenecks in the global supply chains.

Ultimately, this experience has influenced decision-makers and encouraged them to invest in a bulk supply of PPE, aiding their preparedness ahead of future pandemics. Of course, COVID-19 has also raised a much broader awareness of employee health and safety. 

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The Demand for PPE in the Workplace

Of particular note is that of further emphases on hygiene practices within all workplaces – and not only those within the medical sector – creating an increased demand for more diverse selections of PPE including gloves, medical and respiratory masks, thermal or weatherproof clothing and protection for the eyes and ears. 

Certainly, the coronavirus and the risk of future pandemics have caused both private and public sector bosses to change their respective approaches, in a bid to protect employees and minimise the risk of future lockdowns.

At the same time, increased awareness of wider occupational health issues and a growing number of industry fatalities has also driven a higher demand for PPE. For example, exposure to harmful substances or environments was at an all-time high in 2021 carrying 798 fatalities.

Likewise, 850 occupational fatalities in 2021 were as a result of falls and trips, often as a consequence of a lack of appropriate workwear such as high-vis clothing and durable footwear. 

Such data is only encouraging more suppliers into the market and making a wider range of equipment more widely available to a variety of markets.

So, in addition to masks, footwear and high-vis garments, we’re also observing a hike in demand for less obvious pieces of equipment such as safety helmet liners.

Will Global PPE Demand Continue to Increase? And What Will be the Key Drivers?

Currently, a dramatic surge in Covid cases has been reported in Japan and China, while more than one million Brits are also thought to be inflected as England reported its first rise in case numbers since mid-October.

What’s more, after two years of heightened hygiene practices and socialising restrictions, immune systems are likely to be weaker and hospitals are rapidly becoming at capacity with cases due to common germs such as the likes of RSV, influenza and metapneumovirus which have prominence during the colder months.

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Health professionals are continuing to advise the use of facial coverings and social restrictions to those experiencing unwellness whilst the medical industry continues its growing demand for PPE.

Not only is the medical industry markedly driving global PPE demand, but the same can also be said for the fast-growing construction market in the UK. This industry is estimated to be worth $270.9 million in 2019, while it’s forecast to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% between now and 2027. 

With heightened health and safety awareness from occupational fatality statistics as well as general industrial growth, this will also increase the demand for certain types of PPE while highlighting one of the main reasons why personal protective equipment is set to be so coveted in the coming months and years.

According to most reports, the market in Europe is also a key driver of growth, with this valued at $10,533.10 million after the first Covid peak in 2020.

This is also expected to reach $15,450.10 million by the year 2027, while a CAGR of 4.64% during this period is only slightly lower than the global average.

Global PPE article and permission to publish here provided by Alexis at Eleven-Tenths. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on January 5, 2023.

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