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Legislation, education, technical innovation and replacement of safety equipment are ensuring that the market for above-the-neck PPE remains dynamic, according to research from Frost & Sullivan.

Legislation concerning above-the-neck PPE is a major driver for the sale of these products and in addition to accelerating the product replacement rate, legislations could further expand the market by increasing the number of end users.

For example, the 'EU Directive 2003/10/EC' (commonly referred to as the Noise at Work Directive) has increased the number of workers who need to use hearing protection.

In addition, the market for fire safety helmets will receive a major boost with the revision of regulation EN443.

"Niche markets such as laser eye safety and electronic earmuffs are still in their infancy and offer good scope for above-the-neck PPE industry participants," notes Frost & Sullivan research analyst Kumud Verma.

"While the market for electronic earmuffs is driven by the need to communicate in a noisy workplace, laser eye protection is driven simply by the increasing use of lasers in industrial and medical applications."

However, with increasing price competition and market saturation, most above-the-neck PPE companies are under severe price pressure while operating in a volatile market environment.

Also, low-priced products from the Far East are proving to be a major threat to European suppliers' market share.


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