Safety is something that should be always trending. Personal protective equipment is designed to keep workers safe on the job and can be the one thing standing between a worker and serious injury. While workplaces will always carry the risk of injury, PPE will always evolve to meet the needs of today’s workers.
As an industry leader and innovator, PK Safety is proud to be ahead of safety supply industry trends. We took a look at the trends that are shaping up for late 2022 and early 2023 based on the challenges our customers face and the way technology continues to grow and change. Here are some things to expect in the near future.
Cool Looks, Comfortable Fits, and High Performance
Workers are looking for high-performance safety gear for their job but also gear that looks cool and is comfortable to wear. People who play as hard as they work have moisture-wicking activewear that’s also breathable, protective, and provides compression. There’s more demand for gear that’s so light you barely notice it. In response, PPE production is turning toward lower-profile solutions across all categories of safety supply. Form-fitting or second-skin equipment will be popular, along with gear that provides what you need for the job without overprotecting and being comfortable while you’re at work.
Entire PPE Solutions
Consumers are looking for complete solutions for certain applications or problems. Manufacturers and suppliers are putting together kits for everything a user will need in a particular application. For example, employers can choose a confined space kit that contains everything they need. However, they can also buy separate respiratory protection, gas detection, head protection, fall protection, and invest in additional education and training, and potentially more gear depending on the work being done. Education and Consultation
Part of a complete PPE solution is the education and training needed to use the gear properly. It’s not enough to hand out equipment at work, and it’s not even enough that it gets used—correct and consistent use are the only way to truly prevent injuries and illnesses at work. Combine that with the fact that standards evolve, and more companies are starting to offer additional training along with physical products. Look for more opportunities for hands-on application training and after-market support and services.
You can’t go anywhere without running into technology, and it’s increasingly becoming part of our jobs. Manufacturers know this and are working on innovations to incorporate it into the workplace in the form of wearable technology. Potential applications include radio frequency identification and biometrics—a wearable option for monitoring employees’ vital signs and exposure limits to dangerous chemicals could be a true safety game changer.
Sometimes the best new developments are improvements on what’s already in the market. PPE manufacturers are looking into new materials and formulations to improve the protective potential of safety gear while reducing costs. Proprietary in-house yarns and other materials, high levels of coatings and flexible frames for safety glasses, and wearable tech options are all on the horizon.
Supply and Demand
In the past couple of years, everyone has felt the strain on the supply chain industry, and the PPE market is no exception. The COVID-19 pandemic not only created more of a demand for PPE products but impacted when those products were available due to preventative measures that facilities took to curb the spread of the pandemic. The costs of these products were also volatile, thanks to costs associated with raw materials and transportation. There are signs of stabilizing supply chains, but whether things will return to normal in the next year remains to be seen.
Your Continued Safety Supply Partner
PK Safety has been in the safety supply business since 1947. We’ve been at the forefront of innovations and improvements and have been keeping our customers safe for decades. We plan to keep you safe for many years to come, no matter what changes take place in your industry. We are always up for a challenge and making necessary changes. If you have any worksite safety questions, our website and blog are always available to peruse. You can also contact one of our safety experts online or by phone at 800.829.9580.