With “Normal” on the Horizon, Safety Industry Continues to Innovate

In a time when everything else slowed down, the safety industry sped up.

Just over two years ago, the world fell quiet. Without traffic on the highways, planes in the sky or ships sailing across the sea, people felt a sense of stillness in the middle of what ended up being a year's long storm. While many industries that relied on in-person interactions, such as service, non-essential retail and entertainment, were put on hold, others moved full steam ahead. It was these industries—the ones that never quit—that kept things going moving even through the public’s motionless, new reality.  

These industries couldn’t just operate the way they had always known, however. New terms, such as social distancing, virus transmission and quarantine, were added to our daily vernacular. New methods of safe work were created—almost on the fly as more information about the pandemic was made available. These new processes for safe work would not have been possible without an industry of experienced safety manufacturers and solution providers working day and night to create innovative products for the industries that needed them most.  

Almost overnight, companies had clear barriers erected, millions of face coverings received and enough gloves and cleaning supplies to last the long haul. Never-before-needed products were manufactured and shipped out as quickly and efficiently as possible to help protect workers in essential industries around the country. The dedication of the safety industry was proven in the darkest time of a global pandemic and it will be recognized and rewarded for many years to come.  

While the need for protection from an invisible enemy is no longer in dire need, the safety product manufacturers and solutions providers haven’t stopped innovating. They haven’t stopped creating, inventing and moving forward to help keep workers of all industries safe. In fact, the industry is valued at an all-time high and will continue to grow exponentially as more guidelines, standards and regulations are put in place to protect workers from past, present and future hazards in the workplace. 

Market Analysis 

Currently, the Industrial Safety Market is projected to grow from $6.3 billion in 2022 to $8.8 billion by 2027, that’s a CAGR of 6.8 percent.1 Market researchers have completed studies on the expected growth of the industry and have predicted that more regulation, such as the standards in OSHA’s pipeline for infectious diseases and extreme heat, will continue to drive more purchasing from safety product manufacturers.  

Market analysis does show that while the barrier for entry for some safety solutions seems to be pretty high, the costs of not investing in them tend to be more expensive in the long run. Organizations must continue to upgrade their safety systems, not only to keep workers safe, but to stay in accordance with the latest technological advancements and regulation updates.  

Speaking of technological advancements, there has been more innovation in bringing the safety industry into the next generation than ever before. More safety solutions are relying on technology that is embedded in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and researchers believe this increased usage of IIoT will bring new opportunities for more integrated safety and compliance services. 

IIoT is not new, but it is becoming more integrated with safety solutions in the industry as companies begin to see the value in acquiring data on the safety and health of their workers as well as the efficiency and compliance of their businesses. Using IIoT, companies can integrate their processes with safety in mind and monitor their progress in real-time, a benefit that wasn’t available just decades ago.  

If researchers can find any challenges in the industry, they blame it on our restricted knowledge of potential failures when it comes to machinery operation. Complete machine guarding requires intensive risk management that considers so many different kinds of employees. Insufficient risk assessments can overlook important requirements for safeguarding workers, leading to worker injuries and compliance violations.  

Finally, market analysis shows that major growth areas for the safety industry include the automotive, energy & power, oil & gas, and food and beverage industries. Each of these industries is expected to demand safety equipment and stringent safety regulations leading to larger purchases and higher budgets. 

Seeing is Believing  

In the product section on the next few pages, you’ll find listings for some of the latest safety solutions in the industry. These products and solutions signify not only the growth of the industry as a whole, but the time and effort from many, many companies focused on ensuring all employees have the chance to go home at the end of every one of their shifts. Enjoy looking through this section and seeing all that the industry has to offer. 

To view the products, click here

This article originally appeared in the June 2022 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

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