Total Racking Systems logo

8am-5pm

Colby Storage Solution

Safe Working Load Sign: Knowing your load Capacity is essential for warehouse safety

21 May, 2024
Safe Working load signs are not just informational tools but are vital for compliance, safety communication, and the prevention of accidents. This comprehensive guide underscores the importance of SWL signs, delves into the risks of incorrect application, and outlines the standards and practices necessary to maintain a safe and efficient storage environment.

In the dynamic environment of warehousing and storage management, safety is paramount. A key component in maintaining this safety is implementing and managing Safe Working Load (SWL) signs. These signs are not just informational tools but are vital for compliance, safety communication, and the prevention of accidents. This comprehensive guide underscores the importance of SWL signs, delves into the risks of incorrect application, and outlines the standards and practices necessary to maintain a safe and efficient storage environment.

The Importance of Maximum Load Safety Signs for your Pallet Racking System

Safe Working Load (SWL) signs serve as a critical safety measure, indicating the maximum load storage equipment, such as racking systems, can be safely handled. These signs are designed based on thorough structural assessments to ensure that racking systems are used within safe operational limits. By displaying key load-bearing information and safety guidelines, SWL signs play a pivotal role in preventing mishaps and ensuring the integrity of storage systems.

Placement and Specifications of Safe working load sign

For maximum effectiveness, SWL signs should be positioned in highly visible locations on or adjacent to the storage equipment, approximately 2 meters above the floor level. They must be permanent, corrosion-resistant, and sized not less than A3, with information indelibly printed using UV-stable materials. The signs should adhere to AS 1319 standards, with maximum load action figures displayed in a font size of at least 20 mm.

Information Displayed on Safe Working Load Signs for Pallet Racking Systems

SWL signs must convey essential information about the racking system’s load-bearing capacity, including:

  • Permissible working unit load limit for each pallet.
  • Total working unit load limit for each beam level and each bay.
  • Maximum distances between the base plate and beam levels.
  • Installation tolerance grade, manufacturer’s details, structural design responsibility, and installation date.

Additional Information and Safety Guidelines of SWL signs

Beyond load limits, SWL signs should also include safety guidelines for racking use, identification details such as the racking manufacturer’s and installer’s names, installation date, and scheduled inspection and maintenance dates. This additional information enhances safety and operational efficiency by guiding workers in properly using and maintaining the racking system.

The Risks of Incorrectly Applied Load Signs

Incorrect application of load signs can lead to dangerous misunderstandings about the capacity of racking systems, potentially causing overloading, accidents, and structural failures. Such incidents pose serious risks to worker safety and can result in significant legal liabilities, financial losses, and damage to the business’s reputation.

Compliance, Training, and Regular Inspections

Adhering to safety standards and ensuring that SWL signs are correctly applied and updated is a legal requirement. Workers must be trained to understand and comply with the information on these signs, and regular inspections are necessary to maintain the racking system’s safety and integrity. Any modifications to the storage equipment require an immediate update of SWL signage to reflect the new configuration accurately.

Load signs are mandatory under SafeWork Guidelines and must be displayed prominently. They must contain detailed load limits, safety guidelines, and maintenance information in accordance with the Australian Standard AS4084-2023 for Steel Storage Racking. This ensures the racking system is used within its designed load capacity and maintains a safe working environment.

Conclusion of Safe Working Load Signs Management

The management of Safe Working Load (SWL) signs is foundational to warehouse safety. Ensuring that these signs are accurately applied, visible, and comprehensively convey safety information is crucial in preventing overloading and accidents. By adhering to safety guidelines, conducting regular inspections, and providing thorough training, warehouse operations can safeguard against risks, maintain operational efficiency, and uphold their commitment to safety. In this dynamic field, SWL signs stand as a testament to the industry’s dedication to maintaining the highest safety standards.

Next Steps

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need load signs?

Load signs are critical for ensuring the safety and efficiency of pallet racking systems in warehouses. These signs provide clear information about the maximum load capacity that each rack can safely support, helping to prevent overloading and potential collapses. By displaying load signs prominently on each rack, warehouse managers can ensure that employees are aware of weight limitations and can make informed decisions when storing items. Failure to comply with load capacity guidelines can lead to serious accidents and damage to inventory, equipment, and even personnel. Investing in load signs is a simple yet effective way to prioritise safety in the workplace and maintain the integrity of your pallet racking system. Ultimately, load signs are an essential tool for any warehouse looking to optimise storage space and protect their assets.

What does safe working load mean?

Unit load refers to a single item stored, such as a pallet of goods to be stored. Safe working load (SWL) is the maximum weight of unit loads that should be placed on racking to ensure safety.
The SWL must never be exceeded for the unit load, pallet beam, or bay. You can find SWL information from:
– manufacturer instructions
– AS 4084.2:2023 – Steel storage racking Part 2: Operation and Maintenance
– modern inventory management systems with data on goods dimensions and weight
It is crucial to weigh each unit load before placing it on racking. Think about how your inventory management system can track the total weight loaded onto pallet racking. This might involve using inventory scanning tools to alert employees during scanning and avoid exceeding SWL limits. 

If there are uneven loads that are only supported at 2 or 3 points, it is necessary to consult the supplier to verify if the racking can handle such a load. Please be aware that adjusting the racking configuration will affect the safe working loads, so only the supplier, their representative, or a qualified individual should modify the racking configuration.

How to determine a safe working load?

The safe working load refers to the maximum weight that the rack can safely hold without risking collapse or damage. To determine the safe working load, factors such as the strength of the materials used, the design of the rack, and any potential stress points must be considered. It is also important to consider other factors, such as the height of the rack, the positioning of the shelves, and the weight distribution among the shelves.

Experts, as well as those who design pallet racks, determine racking load limits by calculating the structural load-bearing capacity of each component of the rack system. Each component together contributes to the rack’s integrity. This is how pallet racking load limits are determined. It is a mathematical concept and should be calculated wisely as safety and efficiency racks are a major concern. At Total Racking Systems, we use engineer-developed software to calculate the exact safe working load.

What information is required for load signs on pallet racking systems?

Load signs on pallet racking systems play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and efficiency of a warehouse. These signs provide essential information regarding the maximum weight capacity that the racking system can safely hold. To identify the correct racking kg sign for each frame and beam pitch, the racking provider must consider the rated capacity as per the Australian standard. The signs must be clearly visible and durable, typically made of corflute material to withstand the warehouse environment. 

Employers must inform workers about the Safe Working Load (SWL) for pallet racking. This can be done by displaying signs in prominent locations detailing:

  • The name of the racking manufacturer, supplier, and the date of installation
  • The name of the designer
  • The maximum unit load limit
  • The total unit load limit for each level of pallet beams
  • The total unit load limit for each bay
  • The maximum distance from the base plate level to the first beam level
  • The maximum distance between the first and second beam levels

It is crucial to advise of any updates or alterations to the load to ensure that the signs are always displaying the updated load. A wide range of solutions are available to attach the signs securely to the racking system frame.

How do I get compliant load signs?

You will receive customised and easily comprehendible load signs with correct placement, ensuring they are clearly visible to all from Total Racking Systems. These signs provide essential instructions for correct operation and maintenance in order to ensure your safety is secured and meets the Australian Standard requirements.

At Total Racking Systems, we employ Rackman software developed by Dematic engineers. This sophisticated tool uses finite element modelling and second-order analysis to authenticate ColbyRACK designs against the rigorous AS4084-2023 standards. The RackMAN Certification is a testament to the safety and compliance of our racking systems, offering peace of mind regarding their load capacity and structural integrity.

Search Posts

Request a Racking Price


Latest Posts

Pallet Racking damage, risk & Repairs: The Traffic Light System

Warehouse safety is important for protecting your goods and the safety of your workers. One critical aspect of warehouse safety involves properly assessing and classifying damage to racking systems. Racking, the skeletal framework that holds up a warehouse's inventory...

Australian Steel racking is better for the environment

Table of contentsWhy Australian Steel Racking is a green choice for sustainabilityInnovation and Sustainability in the Australian Steel IndustryRecycling Leads to Environmental FriendlinessEnhancing Energy EfficiencyReducing Water Usage in steel productionCompliance...

Related Articles

Pallet Racking damage, risk & Repairs: The Traffic Light System

Pallet Racking damage, risk & Repairs: The Traffic Light System

Warehouse safety is important for protecting your goods and the safety of your workers. One critical aspect of warehouse safety involves properly assessing and classifying damage to racking systems. This post delves into the hierarchical colour-coding system designated by “green,” “amber,” and “red” levels of severity (risk) for racking damage classifications based on specific guidelines and standards.

read more
Australian Steel racking is better for the environment

Australian Steel racking is better for the environment

Discover the environmental benefits of Australian Steel Racking with our latest blog. Learn how innovations in recycling, energy efficiency, and water conservation are making Australian steel a leader in sustainability. Choose Colby racking from Total Racking Systems for superior quality and an eco-friendly choice. Dive into the details and understand why opting for Australian steel supports a greener future.

read more

Get the Latest News