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PE Traceability : Why Use a Standardized Identification System ?

Are you involved in the industrial sector, a QHSE manager, or a regulatory body? Are you looking to ensure the safety of your employees through better traceability of your PPE? Then you’re in the right place! We’ll introduce you to the advantages of the GS1 standardized identification system for effective traceability of category 3 PPE.

Why Use a Standardized Identification System?

Identifiers are codes that allow you to identify protective equipment within your company. They must be unique, meaning each piece of PPE should have its own identifier.
Currently, manufacturers are not obligated to use a standardized identifier, i.e., a code with a format recognized by the customer regardless of the supplier.
In practice, these PPE items are identified by the client upon receipt to follow up on regulatory controls with accredited bodies. However, it’s also important to identify other PPE, if you want to ensure good management over time.

Since the implementation of the European Regulation 2016/425 (applicable from April 21, 2019), PPE must have a market authorization of no more than 5 years. This necessary tracking thus encompasses all PPE used by the company.

Having identifiers in different formats poses several management problems. It’s a major obstacle to the tracking of protective equipment and to accessing PPE information.

Fortunately, with standardized identification, companies can uniquely mark their products throughout their lifecycle.
Moreover, the parallel with the communication of information on the proper use of PPE by the QHSE service reinforces the necessity of having identification and tracking for all PPE.

Here are the main objectives of standardized identification:

  • Reduce risks associated with usage (duplicates)
  • Better manage control procedures in accordance with regulatory requirements
  • Better trace the history of controls

The Strengths of the GS1 Identification Standard for PPE Traceability

In partnership with major energy players in France, GS1 offers companies and organizations its ID Safety Equipment service.

This offer allows for the unique identification of regulated PPE. It enables the sharing of equipment information throughout its lifecycle with all your partners.

The GS1 identification standard has many advantages, of which we have highlighted two.

The Responsibility to Provide Compliant PPE

Firstly, the GS1 standard simplifies and automates exchanges between different partners.

With GS1, PPE is identified using a unique international code, allowing all collaborators to access the information it contains.

PPE can be automatically read by machines and integrated into information systems.
These codes can also be shared with your partners, who will then have access to information about your personal protective equipment.

The Responsibility to Provide Compliant PPE

The GS1 identification standard also improves the traceability process during the PPE lifecycle.

By uniquely identifying equipment, different actors can more easily track equipment throughout its lifecycle.

This reduces the total cost of PPE (purchase, storage, use, maintenance, and recycling).

Keep Control, GS1 France Partner

The Keep Control solution is compatible with the interoperable GS1 – ID SAFETY EQUIPMENT identifier, giving clients control over the traceability of PPE.

Keep Control thus guarantees the uniqueness of each piece of equipment’s identification.

Why Choose Keep Control ?

Too many pieces of PPE are used daily without adhering to regulatory requirements or the manufacturers’ usage recommendations.

With Keep Control, your teams work safely thanks to the unique identification integrated into our markings.
Through our solution, we aim to provide a comprehensive response to allow wearers to work safely by identifying equipment, exchanging useful information, and tracking compliance.

Additional Information: GS1 has published a best practices guide for identifying your PPE. Feel free to consult it on their website:

For more information about our solution and how we integrate the GS1 identification standard, contact us!

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