Good Vibrations: Hearing Protection Equipment Manufacturing in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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The Hearing Protection Equipment Manufacturing industry thrives off of workplace safety regulations. As a result, new and more stringent regulations have been developed and applied, resulting in sustained demand for hearing protection equipment. Despite steady demand, imports are a significant threat. High manufacturing costs and rising prices for plastic materials have created an industry in which nearly one-half of domestic demand is supplied through imports. Over the next five years, imports are expected to continue growing as domestic manufacturers focus on higher value-added products with increased functionality and design. Rising domestic demand in line with strengthening construction and manufacturing industries will help revenue expand over the period. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Hearing Protection Equipment Manufacturing industry to its growing industry report collection.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

Rising regulation of employee health has supported demand for earplugs

The Hearing Protection Equipment Manufacturing industry thrives off of workplace safety regulations. In 1981, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) implemented new requirements to protect all workers in general industry. As a result, new and more stringent regulations have been developed and applied, resulting in sustained demand for hearing protection equipment. “Revenue growth depends highly on industrial production and construction activity, though, since these downstream markets are the largest purchasers of hearing protection equipment,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Nima Samadi. “Hence, the economic malaise of recent years that slashed employment across the economy pulled down demand for industry products.” Revenue fell in 2008 and 2009, but it returned to growth in 2010 and 2011 along with rising industrial activity. Still, over the five years to 2012, industry revenue is expected to decline at an annualized rate of 0.9% to $301.7 million, including an increase of 2.1% in 2012.

According to OSHA, about 30 million people in the United States are occupationally exposed to hazardous noise every year. Noise-related hearing loss has been listed as one of the most widespread occupational health concerns in the United States for more than 25 years. Thousands of workers every year suffer from preventable hearing loss due to high workplace noise levels. Says Samadi, “Given the prevalence of occupation-related hearing loss, an increasing number of employers and industries are purchasing hearing protection equipment to preserve their employees' hearing, driving demand for hearing protection equipment manufacturers over the long term.”

About 33 companies manufacture industry products domestically. Over the five years to 2012, the number of Hearing Protection Equipment Manufacturing industry firms is estimated to increase at an average annual rate of 0.6%. Growth in the number of firms has been subdued due to major acquisition activity by the industry's largest players. Market share concentration among the top three players has increased over the period; during the recession, smaller companies left the industry and major players were able to pick up consumers who previously bought from smaller companies. In addition, market share has increased as players partake in mergers and acquisitions. For instance, in 2007, 3M acquired Aearo Technologies, a manufacturer of personal protection and energy absorbing products. Other major players include Honeywell International Inc. and Westone Laboratories Inc.

High manufacturing costs and rising prices for plastic materials have created an industry in which nearly one-half of domestic demand is supplied through imports. Over the next five years, imports are expected to continue growing as domestic manufacturers focus on higher value-added products with increased functionality and design. Rising domestic demand in line with strengthening construction and manufacturing industries will help revenue expand over the five years to 2017. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Hearing Protection Equipment Manufacturing in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry designs and produces devices that aim to reduce the amount of noise reaching the ears for individuals in the work place (including manufacturing, mining and construction), shooting sports, health and beauty care, hardware and consumer markets. Earplugs and earmuffs are the most common form of hearing protection.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.ibisworld.com or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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