As the dominant end user of fall protection equipment in the United States (US), the construction industry’s post-recession turnaround has significantly boosted demand for these products. Employment in the industry grew 12.1 percent between 2010 and 2014, driving fresh demand for fall protection equipment in the country. This trend will hold steady in the forthcoming years.
Recent analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of the North American Fall Protection Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $623.7 million in 2014 and estimates this to reach $818.8 million in 2019, with the construction, transportation and utilities segments expected to offer the most opportunities for fall protection companies. The study covers soft goods, hard goods, installed systems, access systems, rescue equipment, training services, and maintenance and repair services. Installed systems and hard goods are the fastest-growing segments in the region. Fall protection services are also gaining importance, shifting market dynamics from a product-centric to a solutions-oriented approach.
“Closer interactions with end users and support in training, installation and inspection are expected from fall protection original equipment manufacturers and distributors,” said Frost & Sullivan Visionary Sciences Senior Research Analyst Aparna Balasubramanian. “Although only the top participants have managed to employ fee-based services so far, their success will propel tier-two companies to tap into this segment.”
The fall protection equipment market has always been regulation-driven. The focus on training services will further boost fall protection compliance. It could well bring an end to workers’ resistance to use fall protection equipment because it is uncomfortable or difficult to put on and take off. Technological innovations in the design and comfort of fall protection equipment will also help improve employee compliance.
“With many reported accidents publicizing the need for fall protection, multinational companies will also become sensitive to employee safety,” noted Balasubramanian. “They will closely abide by safety regulations and invest in fall protection equipment for employees, as this is cheaper than bearing the liabilities associated with injuries.”
However, since fall protection is among the costliest PPE because of multiple components, some end-user industries continue to remain highly price-sensitive. Further, the low degree of equipment wear and tear prompt general industrial companies to continue using outdated fall protection products.
The recent oil price decline is another restraint for the fall protection market. With the pressure on the oil and gas industry, cost-cutting measures are likely, adversely affecting spending patterns and delaying the replacement of fall protection equipment in 2015.
In this context, diversification into multiple end-user verticals is crucial to neutralize the volatility caused by industry-specific challenges. Along with this, product development for unexplored niche applications will be essential for fall protection vendors to stay competitive.
Currently, many PPE giants and some fall protection specialist companies are in the lead in the highly competitive North American fall protection market. To sustain their position large multinationals will have to maintain robust distribution relationships and ensure price flexibility.
Analysis of the North American Fall Protection Market is part of the Personal Protective Equipment Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan’s related studies include: Strategic Analysis of North American Construction PPE Market, PPE in Marine Transportation, Analysis of the Global Mining Industry PPE Market, and Strategic Analysis of the North American Above-the-neck PPE Market. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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Analysis of the North American Fall Protection Market / NF44-39