How To Read A Pallet Racking Load Sign

Supplier: Abbott Storage Systems By: Larissa
28 May, 2020

No doubt you have seen the signs on the end of your racking aisles in your warehouse. But do you really understand what makes up a pallet racking load sign?

Sometimes it is referred to as a Safe Working Load Limit Sign or SWL for short. It is the sign that sets out the load limitations of the beam levels in the rack aisle. Also on the sign is key parts of the Australian Standard AS 4084-2012 on Steel Storage Racking.

Load Signs will vary from supplier to supplier. However, the installation of them is compulsory, so every racking structure requires a safe work load sign on every row of racking to comply with the Australian Standard. In Section 1.6a of the Standards it states that all load signs must include:

  • safe working unit load limit,
  • total working unit load limit for each pallet beam level,
  • total working unit load limit for each bay, and
  • maximum distance from the base plate level to the first beam level and maximum distance between subsequent beam levels.

Explanation of Safe Working Load Signs

Safe Working Load Sign Explaination

  1. Pallet Spot Maximum Weight Capacity
  2. Maximum Weight Capacity per Beam Level
  3. Total Weight Capacity per Bay
  4. Maximum Capacity for Oversize or Uneven Pallets
  5. Height of the First Beam Level
  6. Beam Pitch
  7. Frame Height

1. Pallet Spot Maximum Weight Capacity

A pallet spot is the allowance of space for the storage of a pallet with goods on it. The placing or retrieving of a pallet is possible in one operation. Never exceed the total capacity of a pallet spot.

2. Maximum Weight Capacity per Beam Level

This figure shows the maximum weight that a single beam level can handle. Storage on each beam level must not exceed the limit shown on the sign.

3. Total Weight Capacity per Bay

This figure shows the maximum weight that a single bay handle. Do not exceed this load rating.

4. Maximum Capacity for Oversize or Uneven Pallets

Placing uneven loads into a racking structure reduces the overall capacity. Prior to loading an uneven load refer to the manufacturers guide. So as to calculate the possible capacity changes.

5. Height of the First Beam Level

The height of the first beam level in a racking bay determines the weights and capacities set out in the SWL sign. Never alter your beam levels, without consulting your racking provider first. Find out more here. The dimensions are listed in millimetres (mm).

6. Beam Pitch

A beam pitch is defined as the space between the top surface of a beam to the top surface of the beam directly above it. The dimensions of the beam pitch are listed in millimetres (mm).

7. Frame Height

As the name suggests this is the height of the racking frames. The dimensions are listed in millimetres (mm).

Explanation of Operations and Maintenance of Pallet Racking

Most Pallet Racking Load Signs will have a Operations and Maintenance of Pallet Racking section. It is a list of the rules that set out the use of the Pallet Racking Structure. Although the racking is yours, you are still bound by the Australian Standards and manufacturers consent prior to making changes.