•This research service looks at the opportunities for personal protective equipment (PPE) in the global steel industry. •The steel industry forms the backbone of the global economy and is the key to ensure economic and infrastructure development. The industry, however, presents one of the most challenging work environments because of a presence of a variety of physical, chemical, mechanical, and electrical hazards. •This statement is corroborated by the fact that the steel industry remains the most injury-prone manufacturing sub-sector, with almost x % of its workforce requiring the mandatory use of PPE. •The steel industry has experienced high consolidation activities over the last decade, accompanied by a steep increase in labor productivity and steel production output. Additionally, the industry faces stiff challenges with respect to overcapacity, volatile raw material costs, and low margins, all resulting in restrained growth in employment opportunities. •Global steel producers increasingly seek to spread safety awareness and equip the workforce with quality PPE, with the intention to reduce the risk of liabilities and worker compensation costs. •The objective of this Frost & Sullivan strategic market insight is to assess current trends and future growth prospects for PPE use in the steel industry.
Definitions and Scope of Research
Definitions •PPE refers to specialized equipment worn by the industrial workforce to protect them from serious injuries and illnesses as a consequence of exposure to workplace-related hazards. Physical, chemical, biological, radiological, thermal, and other hazards vary across facilities and pose serious risks to the health and wellbeing of the employees. In sensitive facilities, the role of PPE is to protect employees and to prevent cross contamination. Hard hats, bump caps, safety glasses and goggles, earmuffs and earplugs, respirators, coveralls, and safety gloves are examples of PPE. •The steel industry includes all industrial facilities that process iron ore to produce iron and through various metallurgical processes that transform iron into different steel grades. The industry covers metal forming operations that involve metal casting, forging, drawing, extrusion, and rolling. Steel fabrication techniques that involve cutting, bending, and assembly to make marketable steel goods are covered under the scope of the steel industry. Scope of Research •This research service focuses on PPE opportunities in the global steel industry. •The focus of the research is on primary metal production and fabricated steel product manufacturing. •Although an important constituent in the steel industry value chain, the mining industry has not been covered under the scope of this study. •PPE segments covered under the scope of this research include above-the-neck protection (head, eye and face, and hearing), respiratory protection, protective gloves, protective clothing, protective footwear, fall protection, and gas detectors.
Introduction and Overview
•Steel consumption has traditionally been considered a barometer to measure a nation’s economic state. At the end of the 20th century, developing economies such as China, Brazil, and India and the recently industrialized economies of Taiwan and South Korea witnessed a rapid growth in domestic steel production capacities. •China has since emerged as the leading producer and consumer of steel, whereas steel production in India doubled in the post-economic liberalization decade from 1991 to 2001. •The industry has undergone rapid consolidation in the developed economies of the European Union (EU), North America, and Japan. Cross-border mergers with a focus on technological improvements to develop stronger and lighter steel grades have been a growing trend. •The global economic recession in 2008 had a negative impact on the steel industry because of heavy cutbacks in construction activities, resulting in lower demand and a drop in commodity prices. The industry has made a gradual recovery since 2010 because of restructuring initiatives undertaken by steel producers, with an emphasis on improving productivity and capacity utilization rates.
Provides Employment Opportunities The global steel industry, which includes primary metal manufacturing and fabricated steel product manufacturing, generates direct employment for more than x million workers. The steel industry is a key product supplier to the construction, manufacturing, transport, and energy sectors, thereby indirectly supporting employment for over x million workers worldwide.
Supports Industry and Infrastructure Growth Steel consumption is a key indicator for economic growth. Developing economies rely extensively on the steel industry to meet increasing demand from their domestic construction and manufacturing sectors. As a consequence, these countries have strengthened their domestic steel industries over the last x decades, and Turkey, Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) now count among the top x steel producers worldwide.
Key to Sustainable Economic Growth Steel is recyclable and forms a key raw material component for solar, wind, and tidal power generation machinery. The steel industry is critical for the construction of efficient power stations, smart electrical grids, transport infrastructure, and energy-efficient buildings.
Steel Industry—Key Facts
Key Takeaway: The global steel industry is expected to experience increased competition, with a focus on high-value and high-margin steel products. x billion tons : Amount of crude steel produced worldwide in 2014 x % : China’s share in global steel production for 2014 $ x billion : Average yearly global expenditure of the steel industry on process improvements and new product and technology development$ x trillion Value of the global steel industry in 2014. x % : Rate at which the global steel demand increased in 2014, driven by increased infrastructure and construction activity in Asia x kilograms (kg) : Global average in 2014 for steel use per capita, increasing steadily from x kg in 2001 because of rising demand from developing economies
Contract-based employment •The global steel industry employs a sizeable number of contract workers, specifically in the developing economies of Asia. •Contract labor is typically characterized by the lack of adequate safety training. In some instances, contractors do not provide the appropriate PPE to these employees, even though the cost is borne by the employer.
Automation to eliminate low-skilled jobs •Automation in the steel industry has focused on process control and monitoring operations. •The negative impact on employment is expected to remain low because automation in this industry has reached a saturation point. •Future technological improvements, however, would continue to eliminate low-skilled labor.
Demand for skilled technicians •Technological improvements have created a growing demand for mechanical, metallurgical, industrial, electrical, and civil engineers. •For production jobs, skilled workers with associate degrees in technology are highly sought after in the industry. These technicians are trained to operate computer-controlled machinery and maintain equipment.
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