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The global protective gloves market size was valued at USD 21.39 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 24.20 billion in 2022 to USD 33.26 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.6% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with protective gloves experiencing higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a huge growth of 16.85% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Growing awareness regarding workers’ safety along with increasing occupational hazards in mining, healthcare, construction, chemical, oil & gas, and manufacturing industries shall fuel the global industry growth. About 18% of all concrete injuries are from punctures, cuts, and lacerations. Most of the workplaces that involve handling sharp edge materials such as metal, abrasion, and glass materials have led to a rise in product adoption.
Supportive regulatory guidelines to minimize the occupational risk across various industries may favor the industry expansion and provide a strong business outlook for the manufacturers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about one million personnel go to the hospital with hand injuries every year, and about 110,000 hand injuries result in lost time. The foremost step in choosing an appropriate glove is to identify the specific occupational hazard and the right gloves to be used in any hazard. Proper selection of the glove material is also imperative in averting various injuries or hazards.
Increasing Demand for Disposable Gloves in Healthcare Industry during COVID-19
A protective glove is designed to keep hands safe from hazards such as cuts, chemical burns, abrasion, infection, crushing, or biohazard contact. Medical gloves are examples of personal protective equipment that are used during medical procedures and examinations to protect the wearer or patient from the spread of infection or disease.
Medical gloves are disposable and include chemotherapy gloves, surgical gloves, and medical gloves for treating chemotherapy agents. Disposable gloves are used mostly in the healthcare industry. These gloves are worn to avoid cross-contamination between patients and healthcare personnel. They are also used for general protection of the hand when handling different sensitive things in a medical setting.
Medical gloves’ demand is increasing due to the COVID-19 outbreak. They are recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for patients who are confirmed or suspected of coronavirus. Also, the CDC explains that non-sterile disposable patient exam gloves used for routine patient care in healthcare settings are suitable for the care of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. When providing care to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients, extended-length gloves are not required according to CDC Guidance.
However, the FDA has not approved, authorized, or cleared any medical gloves for specific prevention or protection against the COVID-19. Growing awareness in the healthcare sector about disease prevention and customer well-being is projected to boost market growth. Increasing awareness of the health and safety initiatives associated with patient treatment and emergency response accidents has played a key role in driving the healthcare industry’s demand for safety gloves.
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Protective Gloves are Creating More Sustainable Model in Market
Most of the PPE manufacturing companies are becoming more sustainable in the way they are operating. Effective conservation practices mainly reduce business risks and operational costs. Currently, PPE manufacturers are using materials that are derived from fossil resources such as polyethylene, polyester, polyamide, and others. Moreover, in the future, manufacturers may use more biopolymers for disposable PPE and other natural fibers such as bamboo, linen, and hemp. Turning bamboo into a fiber offers sustainability, as these gloves are made of environmentally friendly materials. Also, the usage of 100% recycled material and 100% post-consumer waste in the glove packaging is the main sustainable process within the distribution channel. Manufacturers are partnering with research science companies for additional sustainability initiatives. For instance, Kimberly-Clark implemented a glove “take-back” program. Gloves were segregated at the point of use and the manufacturers sent them to a recycling partner, which then converts the gloves into purple park benches. This process has helped the company to achieve zero waste goals and helped Kimberly-Clark to increase its revenue globally. Gloves need to be purchased and produced less often, thus reducing the carbon emission from the delivery and manufacturing. Companies are also developing biodegradable disposable nitrile gloves, mainly designed to make the gloves more attractive. Hence, a more sustainable glove may reduce the company’s overall glove use, environmental impact, and the waste produced.
Workplace Safety Regulations are Supporting Protective Gloves Market Growth
The growing working population due to rapid growth in the healthcare, oil & gas, chemical, food processing, and manufacturing industries is likely to show lucrative growth opportunities. The industrial environment has become highly advanced, but it still poses a high workplace accident risk. The human hand is one of the most used tools in the industry, improper attention or care may often lead to drastic results. Thus, safety gloves help protect against mishaps such as heat, cold, contact dermatitis, various communicable diseases, and sharp objects.
An increase in strict government regulations has made it mandatory for the manufacturers to take safety measures for workers’ security to restrict occupational hazards or mishaps. Strict regulatory norms in the U.S. and Europe are mainly executed in the manufacturing companies to avoid any workplace hazards, wherein top management of the companies are also focusing on implementing precautionary measures at the workplace. The governing authorities of several nations worldwide have enforced regulations suitable for occupational security. For hand protection, there is no ANSI standard but Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that proper gloves selection is based upon the tasks to be performed in the industrial setting and the construction and performance properties of the glove material used. According to OSHA, about one-fourth of the work injuries involve fingers and hands. OSHA also found that around 70% of the workers suffering from hand injuries do not wear safety gloves during working hours. OSHA also stated that wearing proper safety gloves is one of the most effective hand protection safety programs, which reduced the hand injury risk by 27%.
Medical gloves are used to protect the patient or the wearer from the spread of infection or illness during any medical examinations or procedures. Thus, medical gloves are considered to be an infection control strategy. Most of the gloves are regulated by the FDA including surgical gloves, medical gloves, and examination gloves. Surgical gloves are subject to the strict medical standards of the Medical Devices Directive (MDD).
Rapid Growth in Construction Industry Shall Promote Market Growth
The growing number of workers in the construction industry and an increasing number of fatalities globally are the factors contributing to the production of safety gloves. Construction employees’ hands are usually exposed to various hazards on the job site. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, around 110,000 hand injury cases each year result in construction fatalities. Where 70% of the injuries are sustained by the workers by not wearing gloves and about 30% of injuries occur due to inappropriate and ill-fitting gloves. According to the National Safety Council, some of the gloves types available for construction sites are cotton and fabric gloves which keep the hands clean and protect against abrasions and minor cuts, coated fabric gloves which protect against moderate liquids and chemicals, Kevlar gloves which are cut and abrasion-resistant and provide protection against both cold and heat, and leather gloves which protects against abrasions, cuts, and heat and used for welding and construction. Also, companies are innovating new product development to expand their business portfolio. For instance, in August 2019, DuPont Safety & Construction launched its hand protection portfolio Tychem and Kevlar sleeve and glove solution to expand its business in the India market.
Skin Allergies Due to Latex Material is Likely to Hinder Market
Natural rubber latex comes from rubber tree sap, Hevea brasiliensis, which is found in Southeast Asia and Africa. Allergic reactions to the products made with latex develop in persons who become sensitized or allergic to the proteins contained in the natural rubber latex. Latex is the most widely used component in many dental and medical supplies. These include disposable gloves, syringes, dental dams, catheters, stethoscopes, bandages, dressings, and airway & intravenous tubing. Latex is also found in various consumer products including handbags, rubber toys, athletic shoes, and others.
The healthcare industry workers are at more risk for developing serious allergic reactions to latex. About 1 in 10 people working in the healthcare sector suffer from latex allergies or sensitivities. Latex allergy symptoms include itching, runny or stuffy nose, and hives. It can cause asthma symptoms of wheezing, difficulty breathing, and chest tightness. Usually, the symptoms begin a minute after exposure to latex products. Latex allergies cause food allergies. Allergic skin problems can occur following direct contact with the allergic latex protein in latex glove products. Symptoms include itching, swelling, and redness of the skin. To avoid such allergies, many hospitals have switched to non-latex or protein latex gloves, which may create lucrative opportunities in the market.
Disposable Gloves May Account for Major Share During Forecast Period Due to Increasing Demand in Healthcare and Food & Beverage Industries
In terms of product, the market is segmented into disposable and durable. Disposable gloves are further segmented into chemical handling gloves, sterile gloves, general-purpose gloves, surgical gloves, and others. Durable gloves are further segmented into mechanical gloves, chemical handling gloves, thermal/flame retardant gloves, and others.
Disposable gloves dominated the market and may continue their dominance during the forecast time period owing to the growing product demand in medical, automotive, oil & gas, chemical, food processing, and pharmaceutical industries. Rising awareness about employee safety & health along with increasing concerns regarding skin diseases mainly in the industrial area shall foster the industry trend. Technological innovation accompanied by the availability of customized gloves designs catering to specific businesses may have a positive impact on the market. Strict government regulations regarding the safety of the doctors and other hospital staff may accelerate the disposable gloves market in the healthcare, research laboratories, and pharmaceutical industries. As per health experts, disposable gloves made of nitrile rubber or latex can offer protection against coronavirus.
Chemical safety gloves usually protect hands from greasy and oily substances in many occupational health & safety and home applications. Chemical resistant glove materials include leather, latex, vinyl, nitrile, neoprene, and other materials for various end-use industries. Water resistance, improved grip, and anti-impact are the key properties that are likely to fuel the overall product demand. Most of the companies are investing in advanced materials for manufacturing chemical safety gloves to provide better chemical protection and as these are fabricated to be used in cold weather conditions, thus promulgating the durable gloves market share.
Natural Rubber is Likely to Hold Major Market Share Due to its Increasing Demand from Food Processing, Automotive, and Manufacturing Industries
In terms of raw material, the market is segmented into natural rubber gloves, nitrile gloves, neoprene gloves, polyurethane gloves, vinyl (PVC) gloves, and leather gloves. Natural rubber accounted for the major market share in 2019. Increasing demand from automotive, food processing, and manufacturing industries shall support the segment growth owing to its durability, high dexterity, fit, and comfort properties. Rubber gloves are mainly biodegradable, antibacterial, and antimicrobial. The lightweight property of natural rubber enhances the tactile sensitivity making it ideal for applications that require dexterity. It is highly elastic and poses chemical resistance while handling harmful chemicals in the laboratory. Also, the product is decomposable, making it environmentally friendly and cost-effective, thus benefiting the market growth.
The nitrile gloves segment may witness a significant growth rate during the foreseeable timeframe. Nitrile gloves are designed to provide hand protection to the employees who are engaged in various application industries to help protect the wearer from developing latex allergies. Rising product awareness in the manufacturing industry due to strong government norms to reduce workers' accidents and to maintain hygienic conditions against the microbial, bacterial, and chemical contamination risk, there is an increase in the product demand. Gloves that are produced for medical purposes must go through tests conducted by the FDA, thereby augmenting the demand for nitrile safety gloves market.
Neoprene is a synthetic rubber compound where chemical-resistant neoprene gloves are used to protect against hydraulic fluids, alcohols, gasoline, alkalis, and organic acids. They offer less resistance to punctures, snags, cuts, and abrasions making them suitable for handling wet and slippery materials safely.
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Growing Demand for Safety Gloves in Healthcare Industry May Promote Market Expansion
In terms of application, the market is segmented into healthcare & medical, manufacturing, construction, food & beverages, oil & gas, mining, and others. Healthcare & medical segment accounted for the major market share due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases worldwide. Currently, the usage of surgical gloves and medical gloves is increasing among healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff to reduce the contamination risk of coronavirus.
While handling chemicals, workers must protect their hands. As per OSHA, chemical resistant gloves are made with different kinds of rubber such as natural, nitrile, neoprene, fluorocarbon, and butyl; and plastics such as polyethylene, polyvinyl alcohol, and PVC. These materials are blended and laminated for better performance and used in the chemical sector. The rapid expansion of the chemical industry owing to the increasing demand for petrochemical and petroleum products will fuel industry growth. Chemical gloves usually protect inorganic & organic acids, hydrocarbons, alkali, and other harmful chemicals.
The food & beverage industry may witness a significant growth rate during the forecast timeframe. The food & beverage industry comprises a wide range of risks that need to be assessed and considered properly while ensuring worker’s safety. Risks and hazards associated with the industry include high temperatures in the bakeries industry to low temperatures in frozen and chilled products. Cut risk in the poultry, fish, and meat industries along with the chemical risks from cleaning and detergent products.
The safety gloves used for food production and processing applications must be manufactured in such a way that the substances released do not pose any human health risk. Foodservice gloves are mainly certified under FDA Title 21 CFR Part 177, stating that the glove components must comply with the FDA regulations and consist of “Substances generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use in food or food packaging. Vinyl gloves are the most used glove in the food processing and handling industry in the U.S.
The mining segment may witness a substantial growth rate during the forecast time period. Occupational fatalities and injuries are common incidences in the mining industry. According to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), about 24 mining workers died on the job in 2019, including 11 were coal miners and 13 were non-metal or metal miners. Also, as per MSHA, about 70% of the mine accidents in the U.S. are related to using heavy machinery and other equipment at the worksite. Underground mining operations pose a severe risk to the worker’s health and safety. Today, most glove manufacturers are improving glove designs, using breathable and lighter weight fabrics, where these materials offer better puncture and cut resistance, thus driving this market in the mining industry.
North America Protective Gloves Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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The North America protective gloves market size was valued at USD 8.08 billion in 2021, owing to the increase in awareness regarding well-being as well as laws mandating the use of safety gloves in different industries. Strict regulatory guidelines regarding the worker's health security have resulted in product adoption in the region. The National Safety Council (NSC) and the U.S. Department of Labor promoted the usage of the protective measure in high health risk-prone segments to avoid any kind of accidental health damages. ANSI/ISEA 105 (American National Standard for Hand Protection) rates protective gloves on a consistent numeric rating structure for thermal, mechanical, chemical, and other types of gloves. These regulations are mandatory in the key industries to avoid any accidental loss, which, in turn, is accelerating the safety gloves market in the region. Also, rise in the incidence of different pandemics such as coronavirus, Ebola, swine flu, and others has fueled the usage of disposable protective gloves.
The Asia Pacific market is mainly driven by factors such as increased awareness regarding the safety issues in workplace, an increase in raw material prices, transportation costs, and growing innovation from various glove manufacturers. The expanding healthcare industry in China, India, Malaysia, and Japan has led to technologically advanced solutions development for increasing the wellbeing in the medical or healthcare sector. Increasing drug discovery initiatives among various biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies may augment regional growth. Top Glove Corp Bhd, a Malaysia-based medical glove manufacturer, has a production capacity of 200 million synthetic and natural rubber gloves a day. But due to the recent pandemic, COVID-19 has led the company to a product shortage as the demand for protective gloves is increasing from the U.S. and Europe. Top Glove has added new machines and every week which the company will increase glove production by 30% and in June 2020, the company’s monthly gloves sales ramped up by 180%.
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The European market size is estimated to show significant growth accredited to the policy framework that has been set by the European Union. Most of the manufacturers must use PPE gloves that are in compliance with the European Regulation 2016/425/EU. Eurofins offers testing and expert services for compliance with EN ISO 374-1 which sets the requirements for the certifying chemical protective gloves. Growing industry expansion has propelled the safety gloves requirement for protecting the workers from a chemical burn, metal cuts, and others in their daily work routine. Also, governing authorities have imposed strict laws suitable for workplace safety, which is likely to drive the regional market growth.
Companies are Collaborating and Introducing New Products Which is Likely to Remain Key Business Strategy
The global protective gloves market share is highly fragmented and competitive with the presence of a large number of regional and international manufacturers. The five major players operating in the industry are Ansell, Top Glove, Honeywell International, 3M, and Hartalega Holdings Berhad. Most of the industrial participants are expanding their business by forming alliances such as partnership, acquisition, joint venture, and product launches to improvise their business and product portfolio in the value chain.
In December 2019, Protective Industrial Products, Inc. acquired Boss Glove and Safety Business. This acquisition will allow PIP to fully integrate the consumer side of Boss Glove and Safety Business within the PIP’s Retail division, West Chester Protective Gear.
Manufacturers and contract manufacturers are mainly responsible for glove production. Most of the glove brands have their manufacturing facilities in countries where the labor cost is comparatively low. Also, manufacturers and distributors are taking responsibility for sourcing more recyclable and sustainable materials for the end-use industries to demand more environment-friendly products. Furthermore, manufacturers are adopting various standards with different legislation which shall drive the overall business without compromising the health and safety of workers. Accidents involve huge losses in terms of legal issues, lives, costs, infrastructure damages, work disturbance, and reimbursements to families. To reduce such incidents, companies are focusing on managing safety solutions by implementing precautionary measures, thus surging the product demand.
An Infographic Representation of Protective Gloves Market
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The report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading applications of the product. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.
By Product, Raw Material, Application, and Region
Value (USD Billion)
By Raw Material
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 21.39 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 33.26 billion by 2029.
In 2021, the North America market value stood at USD 8.08 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 4.6%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2022-2029).
The disposable gloves segment is expected to be the leading segment during the forecast period.
Workplace safety regulation in construction, mining, healthcare, and other industries is driving the market growth.
3M, Top Glove, Honeywell International, Ansell, and Hartalega are the major key players of the global market.
North America dominated the market share in 2021.
Manufacturers are using sustainable products and also increasing disposable gloves demand during the COVID-19 are expected to drive the adoption in the global market.
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