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Shifting Consumer Trends toward Hard Goods and Rising Awareness on Training Services to Drive Demand
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The North American fall protection market is heading toward consolidation with its key participants focusing on merger and acquisition activities. The top 3 market participants are 3M, Honeywell, and Pure Safety (together accounting for a market share of about 65%). Having an extensive product portfolio catering to various end-use industries, providing a strong network of training centers, acquiring companies with a strong presence in manufacturing, and offering different types of fall protection equipment have helped the top market participants dominate the regional market. Initiatives of market participants to upgrade existing products, recovering end-use industries, and stringent safety regulations strengthening the need for employee safety in different verticals are the key factors driving fall protection equipment demand.Lack of knowledge on the proper usage of fall protection equipment is a major cause of accidents. For an employer, an average injury claim costs more than $7,000. Hence, it is imperative for end-use industries to ensure that there is adequate knowledge among employees on fall protection equipment and the procedures to inspect them before and after use.While soft goods are expected to emerge as the largest product segment owing to their low cost and ease of use, hard goods are likely to be the fastest-growing product segment, as the market is marked by a shift from harnesses to self-retracting lifelines (SRLs). The ability of SRLs to arrest a fall more quickly in comparison with harnesses has played a pivotal role in propelling their demand. Services, especially training, are expected to gain momentum owing to the stringent regulations related to working at heights and rising awareness on safe working procedures and proper choice of equipment among end users. Moreover, the initiatives taken by key market participants such as 3M and MSA to strengthen their network of training centers underscore the importance of services. Construction, general industrial applications, utilities, and telecommunications are expected to emerge as the major end-use industries. The demand for fall protection in these verticals can be attributed to regulations for walking-working surfaces addressing slip, trip, and fall hazards. Construction is expected to emerge as the largest end-use industry, driven by the rising number of construction activities in the region.Product development will be focused on introducing products that are durable, lightweight, and easy-to-use. Product differentiation will play a key role for market participants to remain competitive. To achieve the same, the top market participants are leveraging their patented technologies to offer unique products.Drivers such as stringent safety regulations in end-use industries, product development with a focus on improving durability, and ergonomic factors will support the volume demand for fall protection equipment during the forecast period. Owing to their lower cost compared to other fall protection equipment, soft goods are expected to account for the largest market share. Adoption of harnesses plays a key role in supporting the demand for soft goods.The market has witnessed increasing inclination toward SRLs due to their wider variety of lengths and internal braking arrangements that help arrest a fall quickly. Hard goods are expected to emerge as the fastest growing segment during the forecast period.In the services segment, rising awareness regarding end-user training will play a pivotal role in growth. Market participants lay emphasis on providing training facilities to ensure revenue generation and generate awareness among new as well as existing customers regarding new products.Developing cost-effective and durable products will remain a key factor for attracting new customers, supporting revenue growth during the forecast period.The United States is expected to account for the largest market share, with a large workforce across end-use industries and the presence of key manufacturers having manufacturing as well as strong dealership networks spread across the region. Demand for fall protection equipment in both the United States and Canada can be attributed to the increasing demand in key end-use industries, such as construction, general industrial, utilities, and telecommunications. Recovery in the regional oil and gas market is expected to support the demand for fall protection equipment. Construction is expected to account for the largest market share in North America. Regulations by OSHA for workers to use fall protection equipment while working at a height of six feet and above in the construction industry will propel the demand for such equipment during the forecast period.With the acquisition of Capital Safety, 3M continues to dominate the market. The acquisition has helped 3M strengthen its fall protection product portfolio, as well as meet the growing demand in developed and developing markets. Honeywell, MSA, and Pure Safety will emerge as the other key participants due to their capability of providing a comprehensive line of fall protection equipment and services along with an established distribution network.
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