Safety Footwear: 7.8 billion USD in 2024The market of safety footwear will reach a value of 7.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2024
A recent study done by the American consulting firm, Global Market Insights, forecasts that the market of safety footwear will reach a value of 7.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2024, with more than 300 million pairs produced annually. The report outlines the main areas of development in the sector on a global and regional level, which are more or less driven by the development of key industrial sectors and by the obligations set down by legislative policies that increasingly focus on the safety of workers.
With a value of 4.8 billion dollars in 2015, and a forecasted growth of +5% in 2016, safety footwear must face multiple challenges on a global level in order to reinforce its growth, from the existence of underpriced and counterfeit goods, to the cost of raw materials…
Among the factors that will be key to supporting the growth of the safety footwear market between now and 2024, is included the expansion of specific industrial and manufacturing industries that will be especially critical.
The productive sector that will have the greatest impact is the construction industry: investments on a global level in this sector will increase from 7 trillion dollars in 2013 to 15.5 trillion dollars in 2024. The Asia Pacific area, which is currently worth 1.5 trillion dollars, will grow by +5% on its own, above all, because of huge public investments that are forecasted for the construction of infrastructures (ports, airports, highways, etc.) by nations like China and India.
Most likely, the expansion of the construction industry on a global level will provide a boost to sales in safety footwear, which is considered an essential accessory in the prevention of construction site accidents, helping avoid injuries caused by falling objects, perforations, and cuts from sharp objects…
In other parts of the world, other productive sectors will trigger the dynamic growth of the safety footwear market. With Germany, growth in the automotive and chemical industries will drive local growth. In Latin America, Brazil, Columbia, and Venezuela, growth will be stimulated by the corresponding development of the manufacturing industry, while the rapid expansion of the shale oil extraction industry will open up new opportunities in Brazil in particular.
The construction and extraction industries will also boost the sales of safety footwear in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Another critical factor key to determining growth in the safety market will be the policies and choices enacted by different governments in favour of workers’ safety. If Europe is first in line in implementing occupational safety standards and using personal protective equipment, which includes safety footwear, an increasing number of countries are becoming more aware of the problems connected to on-the-job safety and have accordingly chosen to adopt more or less strict regulations in its enforcement. Among the standards being applied are those of ILO – the International Labour Organization, the British Standard Institution, and OSHA- the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Even China is adopting standards in merit, while countries like Brazil are already implementing them.
Besides the opportunities generated by industrial sectors and by the regulations for occupational safety, safety footwear must also face a number of difficulties. The main one is the cost of raw materials, and especially that of leather.
Most safety footwear has a leather upper, a natural material with a durability, resistance, and insulation ideal to guaranteeing the high performance required by this kind of footwear. In the future, it will be increasingly difficult to source this material, in light of increasing shortages and a corresponding growth in demand on a global level by the footwear, leather goods, automotive, and apparel industries… Moreover, the increasing cost will make it more difficult to purchase this footwear in the future, orienting consumer choices towards lower quality models with a lower performance, and even towards counterfeit products.
Even natural rubber is an important material for safety footwear: its anti-slip properties and resistance to chemical agents, alkali, and acids is especially in demand. Next in terms of importance is PVC and waterproof and oil-proof membranes that guarantee protection in moist and greasy environments.
Without even considering underpriced and counterfeit goods, the market of safety footwear must face tough competition. Among the main global players in the sector, we find names like Bata Industries, Dunlop Boots, Honeywell International, VF Corporation, WL Gore, Uvex Group JAL Group France, Cofram Hewats Edinburgh, Rahman Group, Rock Fall, Wolverine, Simon Corporation, Liberti Group and Industrie Pezzol…. The range of products available on the market spans from footwear that protects against oils, to those that are water resistant, anti-perforation, anti-shock, thermally insulated, etc.… products that besides offering high performance, also increasingly combine it with style, allowing workers to stand out on the job.
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