Definition - What does Load Capacity mean?
Load capacity refers to the maximum amount of poundage or weight that any piece of equipment or machinery, flooring, scaffolding, shelving units/storage compartments, or other structural platforms can handle or sustain under a given load. Many industries require load capacity signage/placards at designated areas as a means to avoid damage to inventory or deliverables inside a manufacturing facility. The signage/placards may also serve to lower the risk for accidents or injuries.
WorkplaceTesting explains Load Capacity
In the workplace, employers are expected to identify and assign proper labeling that coincides with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines for regulatory load capacity standards. Pictorial diagrams and other visual displays are helpful templates for illustrating load capacities and highlighting the dimensional measurements necessary to withstand the load-displacement variables that may exceed the approved range. This criterion is useful in determining the load capacity for operating machinery that requires the transfer of freight, storing objects on ground-level or elevated height surfaces, and maximal elevator occupancy for transport in multi-storied buildings.
Service operation plaques are labels found on heavy machinery, supported by the OSHA-based framework aligned with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) model for registering the certified load capacity at a rated value. For instance, a nameplate is a data label providing operable details about the functionality of a piece of equipment; for example, a forklift contains the base weight combined with the maximal load capacity to maneuver the vehicle safely. Hence, a data label allows the employee to configure mechanical load differences that play into the equation where equal distribution of weight for conveying bulky materials is vital to avoid potential hazards (i.e., forklift imbalance).
Load capacity designations (i.e., data labels) should be legible and visible for referential purposes by employees, serving as a precaution against inadvertent hazards that can lead to liabilities compromising productivity and safety.