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Rising Importance of Occupational Health Gains, Coupled with Implementation and Upgrade of Safety Regulations, to Drive the Volume Demand
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The North American Respiratory Protection Market is consolidated, with the top 5 market participants accounting for over 75% market share. Extensive product portfolios catering to various end-use industries, strong distribution networks, expenditure on research and development with focus on product upgrades, and so on have helped these companies to strengthen their position in the North American respiratory protective equipment market.Factors such as stringent regulations for respiratory protection in end-use industries and product development with key focus on improving ergonomics are expected to drive the demand for respiratory protective equipment. The cost associated with development and testing and regulatory compliance of newly developed products have restricted market participants from innovating. Another factor acting as a deterrent for innovation is that old designs of respiratory protective equipment still attract a lot of users. Complaints related to the usability of the respirators have only resulted in minor incremental changes and are primarily directed toward filter development. Heat, fogging, and breathability issues still need to be addressed properly to enhance end-user comfort. Enforcement of the crystalline silica standard in the construction industry is anticipated to boost the demand for respiratory protective equipment. Manufacturers are likely to focus on product development, especially related to filter technology. Well-informed buying decisions according to specific job requirements in various end-use industries is slated to play a key role in supporting the demand for respiratory protective equipment in the coming years.Compliance rates are likely to grow marginally in response to new regulations such as the 2016 silica dust standard and updates in National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) regulations in 2018. Firefighter SCBA sales are likely to grow in 2018 and 2019 in response to the new NFPA standard.The demand for respiratory protection in the firefighting industry will be greatly influenced by the incorporation of electronic devices with protective gear and the ability of respiratory protective equipment to be used in confined spaces. Initiatives taken by market participants to develop SCBA cylinders using composite materials to reduce equipment weight are expected to propel the demand for respiratory protection in the firefighting industry.Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPRs) and Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBAs) will enjoy higher uptake, owing to the integration of technology (sensors, Bluetooth) which helps increase efficiency as well as safety of wearers. There is no requirement for fit testing to support PAPR demand. The risk of cancer is encouraging the decontamination of fire fighters' SCBAs. Units with electronics are required to be safe for decontamination.With the acquisition of Scott Safety, 3M continues to dominate the market. The acquisition helps 3M to strengthen its presence in the firefighting space. MSA, Honeywell, Draeger, and Moldex are expected to emerge as other key participants, owing to higher brand recall and research and development activities that focus on product development. Other companies include ILC Dover, Interspiro, Sundstrom, Bullard, AlphaProtech, Avon Protection, and so on.Rising demand in end-use industries such as construction, manufacturing, firefighting, oil and gas, and so on is expected to drive the demand volume of respiratory protective equipment in the region.Health and safety regulations as mandated by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have been instrumental in strengthening compliance rates across the workforce operating in end-user industries.Incorporation of technology with the equipment and focus toward improving ergonomics are anticipated to play a key role in driving the sales of respiratory protection during the forecast period.In the coming years, the North American respiratory protection industry is expected to witness products that are hose free and can be paired with other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as well. Connectivity, coupled with the Internet of Things, is expected to play a key role, thus, enabling safety managers to develop and implement cost-effective safety programs.Direct sales is preferred when diversifying the product, whereas distribution networks are preferred for supplying high-volume products such as disposable masks. Owing to the strong position of major market participants, they have the power to pick and choose the distributors. Around 60%–70% of sales is achieved through the distributor network.Product-line extension is likely to be a suitable marketing strategy, as it offers customers with products that suit their specific requirements and also help market participants expand their product portfolio.
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