Safety Equipment: Oppty in the Manufacturing Industries

An Expert's View about DIY, Housewares, Appliances and Electronics in Mexico

Posted on: 24 Oct 2011

Safety standards form an integral part of manufacturing operations. Although Mexico has not had a strong preventive culture, this is changing, due to external factors such as globalization of manufacturing, direct foreign investment, increased awareness of productivity and lowering costs. The presence of multinational OEM’s and the safety requirements they have for themselves, as well as for their providers, is causing the maquiladoras to realize the importance of acquiring safety equipment and products in order to increase the security of their workers and plants.

Recently, the Mexican Ministry of Labor requires all companies to comply with the corresponding regulations to operate their factories. This report focuses on market opportunities for safety equipment and products used by the manufacturing industries in the central region of Mexico.

Market Demand
According to experts in industrial safety, the market for safety products in Mexico, (especially in the maquiladoras) offers significant opportunities for U.S. products. Currently, safety products represent only 5% of the total consumption by maquiladoras. The Mexican Institute of Social Security and the Mexican Labor Secretary reported that in 2009 there were 395,024 cases of work injuries, as well as 4,101 workers with labor illnesses. There were a total of 14,530 and 4,191 permanent incapacities, as a result of work accidents and work illnesses respectively. As well, there were 1,104 work accident deaths and 5 deaths due to labor injuries. The most common injuries were related to hands and wrists.

Work accidents were more frequent among workers within an age range of 20-24 years old. Workers whose age ranged from 30 to 34 years old were the second group that had accidents more frequently. Male workers were more inclined to suffer accidents in the work place. Work accidents occurred often to workers that had been working from one to six months and from one to four years in the plant.

According to statistical information, work experience is the key to lower accident rates, given that between the 5th and the 25th year, accident rates decrease.

The Mexican Institute of Social Security charges a higher fee to those companies whose workers encounter high risk at their workplace. This is one factor that makes companies increase their safety measures, to save resources and be more productive. OEM’s are requiring their suppliers to comply with the mandatory international safety standards in order to do business with them. The OEM’s subsidiaries often need to comply with their headquarters’ safety regulations as well, and usually have a specific budget dedicated for safety equipment.

Market Data
The main manufacturing industries in Central Mexico are:

• Automotive, auto parts and automotive assembly plants
• Electric/electronics
• Petrochemical and plastics
• Metalworking and tools
• Food processing

Mexico City, State of Mexico and Puebla have a considerable number of auto parts manufacturers. Most of the companies located in the automotive and auto parts industry are from the U.S. with 30% participation, another 30% comes from Germany and a smaller part (9%) from Japan. Automotive assembly plants such as General Motors, Chrysler, Ford and Volkswagen are located in the State of Mexico and Puebla.

For the electric/electronics industry, the states with the most companies are the State of Mexico with 12, Queretaro (8), Mexico City (5) and Puebla (1).

Within Mexico’s petrochemical and plastics industry, the lead’s states are Queretaro (8), State of Mexico (9), Mexico City (4), and Puebla (4).

For Mexico’s metal working and tools industry, the top states are Puebla (7), Queretaro (6), State of Mexico (6), and Mexico City (4).

Finally, regarding to the food processing industry, the State of Mexico has 20 companies, Mexico City has 13, Queretaro and Puebla have 8 each. (2)

Best Prospects
Depending on each maquiladora activity-industry, each will require particular safety equipment, but the most used products by maquiladoras are:
• Gloves to protect hands from chemicals, electricity, temperature extremes, mechanical hazards, lacerations and other wounds from sharp objects
• Protective suits
• Safety polycarbonate goggles
• Safety ear plugs, disposable ear plugs, ear plugs with strings
• Particulate respirators
• Steel-toe safety footwear
• Plastic safety helmets
• Twill protective suits
• Disposable surgical/face masks

The products will last depending on the product care, use, cleaning habits, storage, but usually, these kinds of products have a two-year life.

Key Suppliers
North Safety Products (Honeywell)
DuPont Safety & Protection
Akron Brass Company- Firefighting equipment
TFT Inc. - Industrial alerting devices
Grainger Industrial Supply – Safety products
3 M – Safety products
International Safety Instruments – Self contained breathing apparatus, thermal imaging solutions

Read the full market research report

Posted: 24 October 2011

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