The construction industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by an increased focus on environmental sustainability and workplace safety, and the growing importance of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics. In the last three years alone, there have been over 425,000 patents filed and granted in the construction industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Workplace safety in construction: fall restraint systemsBuy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 232,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the construction industry, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Fall restraint systems is a key innovation area in workplace safety

Fall restraint systems are safety mechanisms and devices meticulously crafted to hinder individuals from falling or gaining access to perilous zones. Comprising anchors, safety lines, connectors, and energy absorbers, these systems play a vital role in environments where working at elevated levels is commonplace, ensuring the well-being and security of workers. Fall restraint systems, categorized as personal protective equipment (PPE), serve the purpose of averting workers from falling by arresting their movement before they approach a potential hazard. Typically composed of a body harness, a lanyard, and an anchorage point, these systems function seamlessly together. In practice, when a worker utilizes a fall restraint system, the body harness connects to the anchorage point through the lanyard. If a worker initiates a fall, the lanyard acts as a safeguard, preventing them from reaching the hazard. By absorbing the fall’s energy, the lanyard, coupled with the body harness, disperses the force evenly across the worker’s body. Integral to a comprehensive fall protection strategy, fall restraint systems contribute significantly to averting severe injuries and fatalities resulting from falls in the workplace. Their application is imperative when there is a risk of falling from heights of six feet or more, as well as when working in proximity to exposed edges or openings. By acting as a pivotal tool in preventing workplace falls, fall restraint systems not only enhance safety but also stand as a crucial measure for preserving lives and avoiding grave injuries.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies.  According to GlobalData, there are 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established construction companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of fall restraint systems.

Key players in fall restraint systems – a disruptive innovation in the construction industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to fall restraint systems

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
R&Q Insurance 161 Unlock Company Profile
PureSafety Group 18 Unlock Company Profile
Safetylink 17 Unlock Company Profile
Crown Castle 14 Unlock Company Profile
Midori Anzen 11 Unlock Company Profile
Kee Safety 10 Unlock Company Profile
PERI 10 Unlock Company Profile
Capital Safety Group (Northern Europe) 10 Unlock Company Profile
Schlumberger 9 Unlock Company Profile
Uniline Safety Systems 8 Unlock Company Profile
Encofrados J. Alsina 8 Unlock Company Profile
3M 6 Unlock Company Profile
XSPlatforms 6 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 5 Unlock Company Profile
Pohl Group 4 Unlock Company Profile
Otto Fuchs 4 Unlock Company Profile
ConXtech 4 Unlock Company Profile
Balfour Beatty 3 Unlock Company Profile
SKYLOTEC 3 Unlock Company Profile
TRACTEL Group 2 Unlock Company Profile
Doosan 2 Unlock Company Profile
Cabot Safety Intermediate 2 Unlock Company Profile
Bornack 2 Unlock Company Profile
BLUEWATER MFG. 1 Unlock Company Profile
China State Construction Engineering 1 Unlock Company Profile
China Construction First Group The Sixth Construction 1 Unlock Company Profile
Unique Concepts 1 Unlock Company Profile
GCORP 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

R&Q Insurance Holdings is the leading patent filer in fall restraint systems, followed by PureSafety Group and Safetylink.

R&Q Insurance Holdings (Randall & Quilter) stands as an insurance investment holding company, offering a spectrum of insurance-related services through its subsidiaries. Actively participating in research and development, Randall & Quilter focuses on fall restraint systems, recognizing their pivotal role in preventing workplace accidents and mitigating insurance claims. The company's research endeavors in this domain aim to pioneer advanced, ergonomic, and intelligent fall protection solutions. Emphasizing material innovation, ergonomic design, integration of smart technology, and tailoring solutions to specific applications, Randall & Quilter is at the forefront of advancing fall protection, fostering worker safety across diverse industries.

In terms of application diversity, Kee Safety leads the pack, while BLUEWATER and Midori Anzen stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Crown Castle held the top position, followed by R&Q Insurance Holdings and Midori Anzen.

Kee Safety is as a prominent provider of fall protection solutions, safety railing systems, and steel-to-steel connection products. The company's extensive product range encompasses collective fall protection, personal fall protection, safety barrier systems, steel-to-steel connections, safe access solutions, and workwear.

A global leader in fall protection and safe access products, Kee Safety is actively immersed in research and development, particularly in the realm of fall restraint systems. The company is keenly aware of the pivotal role played by these systems in averting workplace accidents and fatalities. Kee Safety's dedicated research initiatives focused on fall restraint systems are propelling innovation and pushing the boundaries in the field of fall protection. The company's emphasis on advanced components, user-centric design, technology integration, and standardization is instrumental in fostering the creation of more effective, safe, and compliant fall restraint systems. Through these efforts, Kee Safety aims to significantly reduce the risk of workplace accidents and fatalities, contributing to a safer working environment.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the construction industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Construction.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.