The globe has been observing a stringent rise in the count of industrial fatalities lately. In fact, as per the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland, more than 7,500 people die every year across some of the major industries including manufacturing, construction, and others primarily due to the negligence of PPE kits while working. Given the rising accidental count, PPE has now become more of a necessity across the aforementioned sectors, enabling the personal protective equipment industry to gain further prominence in recent years.
This has undeniably compelled personal protective equipment companies to focus on designing exceptional and superior protective wear with a view to ensuring maximum safety for workers.
However, in the midst of the ongoing pandemic situation, the global PPE industry has been witnessing a dramatic revolution in the global business sphere. Having originated from the Wuhan province of China, COVID -19, apart from claiming millions of lives, has brought about a major halt in vivid businesses in turn slowing down the economy of various countries. Amid this critical situation, the demand for PPE has, however, massively increased in order to offer protection to frontline warriors including the workers and medical staff. Not just the healthcare sector, but the thriving polymer industry is also leveraging the benefits of rising PPE demand, as the need for NBR latex gloves and similar PPE has exhibited a prolific upsurge.
PPE, as of today, stands as a firm line of defense against some of the serious injuries that occur at workplaces, and while considering the current healthcare situation, it stands as a pivotal form of cross-contamination barrier between two or more people. That said, it is important that the credibility factor of this equipment remain unquestioned, for maintain the safety standards.
While citing an instance illustrating the increased proactiveness of personal protective equipment companies during the peak COVID season, it is crucial to state the mention of Medtronic- a pioneer in medical device production. Recently, the company donated personal protective equipment worth USD 1 million to a relief organization- International Medical Corps- in an effort to support its ongoing coronavirus response efforts in Puerto Rico and the continental United States. As per close officials, the donation covers about 408,000 KN95 respirators and more than 1.1 million surgical masks, which are being distributed to more than 15 hospitals and healthcare facilities across the hot spot zones.
The aforementioned is just one example of initiatives that are revolutionizing the PPE industry sphere. Below listed are some of the recent developmental trends that are fueling the growth scope of the PPE market.
PPE vending machines in rail stations- for safe and distant commuting
Considering the health risk for day-to-day commuters, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has reportedly announced its plans of setting up PPE vending machines at some of its rail stations to ensure maximum commuter safety, given the burgeoning COVID-19 cases in the city. The machines are approved by the CTA’s board and is deemed to contain PPE including disposable face masks, hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, and sanitizing wipes and considered to be pocket friendly for the people, ranging from $3.87 to $10.
Such measures are anticipated to stand as an exemplary model for other countries and states who have been brainstorming into the ways of making traveling easy and risk-free for its people.
An internship for COVID-19 PPE production?
Innovation and internship programs have been the center of attraction for college as well as school-going champs, in an attempt to gain practical knowledge on the field. However, the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic has slashed on some emerging dreams. Nevertheless, with more than 400,000 COVID cases in the country, the State University of New York has launched a grant program that gives the students and faculty a chance to develop innovative alternatives to PPE for the city’s frontline warriors.
Named SUNY Prepare Innovative and Internship Program, the internship would offer USD 10,000 for faculty and students and is claimed to be open for all SUNY state-operated and Community College campuses. This initiative would not only bridge the demand-supply gap but would offer the student an opportunity to explore the world of combating the challenges posed by COVID-19.
Increased demand for lighter PPE
Personal protective equipment, although offering optimum safety and security from unwanted chemical spills, infection control, and other accidents, are infamous for heavyweight and suffocation they create. This has brought about a surge in demand for lighter protection, particularly across the industries that make use of powered air-purifying respirators. Various studies claim that a lot of existing PAPRs on the market are incredibly heavy and their design lacks even weight distribution, leading to strains and aches on operators. Since more and more workforces are tuning to heavy PPE today, lightweight PPE structure is emerging as an important design component to deliver on.
With this, considering the ongoing COVID-19 chaos, the healthcare sector is set to emerge as a prime revenue source for all PPE kit suppliers today. This leaves the public to ponder over: With the world currently being in turmoil due to novel coronavirus pandemic, will personal protective equipment emerge as a first line of defense?