Do I need load capacities displayed on my racks?

Yes. North American building codes refer to the rack design standards in which it is indicated that the rack's load capacity must be displayed. However, the codes do not impose a method.

RMI’s ANSI MH16.1-2012: Specification for the Design, Testing and Utilization of Industrial Steel Storage Racks, in section 1.4.2, states that the rack owner is responsible for displaying in one or more conspicuous locations a permanent plaque(s)” and that they should include this information:

(a) the maximum permissible unit load and/or maximum uniformly distributed load per level

(b) the average unit load if applicable

(c) maximum total load per bay

It also states that "It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that the rack system is not altered in a manner that the plaque information is invalidated."

Load capacity labels placed on each bay or load capacity plaques placed at the end of aisles are the most common ways of displaying this information.


This is to ensure that the maximum load capacity is communicated to forklift operators so they do not overload the racks.

If you do not have labels or do not know the load capacity of your pallet racking systems, Damotech offers a load capacity calculation service performed by qualified engineers.