July 30, 2012
China offers the greatest growth potential for the application of personal protection equipment (PPE) because of its booming manufacturing sector, combined with a relatively recent focus on workplace safety. That is one of the findings of 3M's newly released market study, which offers safety and health professionals insight into the use of PPE globally.
The survey of 298 safety professionals in 10 countries represents a variety of industries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
The study cites that the top 10 PPE products most commonly specified by safety professionals are safety gloves, shoes, earplugs, goggles, helmets/hard hats, nonprescription eyewear, face shields, disposable respirators, earmuffs, and welding protection shields. Safety gloves are the most commonly used safety product worldwide, with 91 percent of respondents indicating their use. Use of PPE varies widely by country, with Norway employing the most PPE, followed closely by the U.S. Of the top 10 most commonly used categories of PPE, China reported the lowest use in seven categories.
In addition to geographic differences in the overall use of PPE, the 3M study also revealed differences in the use of specific types of PPE. For example, earmuffs are specified by 100 percent of respondents in Norway but only 15 percent of respondents in China. Communication headsets are specified by 67 percent of respondents in France but only 10 percent of respondents in Italy.