According to a new research report released by the Global Market Insights, Inc., the electrical safety personal protective equipment (PPE) market is expected to exceed US$20 billion by 2025. This growth trend is the result of several factors, including an increasing focus on safety in the workplace and desire for greater comfort and enhanced product aesthetics. These demands significantly influence the development and adoption of more innovative personal protective equipment, driving the growth of the electrical PPE market, including for arc flash applications.
Why Is the Arc Flash PPE Market Growing?
There are several reasons for the current expansion of the arc flash PPE market, including:
Increases in Employer Commitment to Safety
Until relatively recent, arc flash was thought of as “the other electrical hazard”, even though electricity had been in use since the late 1800s, resulting in research on this electrical event only beginning within the past few decades. Although arc flash injuries are not as common as those related to shock, treating arc flashes as a secondary risk remains a contributing factor to injuries and fatalities, particularly in the construction industry. As employers increasingly focus on protecting their employees from electrical injury, spreading awareness of the risks of arc flash and the proper PPE required serves as a crucial element of any complete electrical safety program.
Revisions in Industry Standards Calling for Enhanced PPE
In 2018, the release of IEEE 1584-2018 revised the processes, calculations, and formulas used for hazard analyses. These new calculations indicate higher incident energy levels for horizontal conductors within a metal box (HCB) and vertical conductors that terminate in an insulating barrier within a metal box (VCBB), which may necessitate significant changes to existing electrical safety programs, including PPE requirements.
Updates to OSHA Requirements Regarding Electrical PPE
OSHA 1910.137 outlines the requirements for electrical protective equipment used in various processes. Along with other stringent safety regulations, this standard serves as a primary driving force for the growth in the electrical PPE market.
The increasing focus on safety across the board also spurred the Department of Labor to hire more compliance officers to perform facility inspections and ensure the PPE employed meets the necessary standards. Combined with the OSHA’s improved targeting capabilities, certified agencies are better able to crack down on employers who are not prioritizing safety in the workplace.
Worker Demands for Better PPE Products
Both employers and employees understand the risk of performing electrical operations without proper protection. In asking employees to do their jobs with subpar protective equipment, employers increase the likelihood that their workers will search for employment elsewhere. Although non-compliance with industry and regulatory safety standards may not be the primary reason for this higher rate of attrition, non-compliant employers fail to live up to worker expectations and give off the impression that their workers are not valued. As such, it is in their best interest to comply with all applicable standards and provide employees with the proper PPE.
Paulson Manufacturing: Providing Industry-leading Arc Flash Protection Products
The growth of the electrical safety personal protective equipment market stems from:
- Increasing employer focus on/employee demand for adequate safety protocols and protections
- Changing industry standards and procedures
These factors highlight the need for PPE that better suits consumer demand, driving the market to develop and deliver the desired products. At Paulson Manufacturing, we help fulfill PPE market demand with high-quality protective solutions, including for electrical workers.