Zalk Josephs Fabricators

Zalk Josephs Fabricators Reduces their Emissions

Zalk Josephs Fabricators, a Dane County company based in Stoughton, specializes in fabricated plate work and structural steel. In 2008, the company received a free operational audit of their facility through the Healthy Air project.

A UW-Extension pollution prevention specialist visited and made the company aware of potential ozone-producing manufacturing operations. Ozone, a gas that is the main ingredient of smog, is a concern during the summer months. Even at low levels, it can affect respiratory health. It is formed when two primary pollutants oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react with sunlight and warm temperatures.

Zalk Josephs learned that, to reduce ozone, spray painting was better done in the evening, so painting was designated a second shift activity. An analysis of paint products is done in order to limit VOC emissions, and products are selected with the lowest VOC content acceptable by the project engineer.

The company also signed up for Clean Air Action Day Alerts. When the Air Quality Index is forecast to be at an unhealthy level for sensitive groups of people, the Dane County Clean Air Coalition asks government agencies, businesses and citizens to voluntarily reduce activities that produce air pollution. By emailing employees and posting Clean Air Action Day Alerts on the company’s bulletin board, Zalk Josephs can notify its employees and educate them about steps to take at work or at home when ozone or fine particle levels are high.

During the past year, Zalk Josephs continued to make progress in reducing operational air emissions. When the company purchased a mobile crane for loading trucks and moving steel, they were able to move to newer equipment with lower emissions and better fuel efficiency. A “no idling” policy that saves money and reduces air pollution was implemented. When workers step away from their equipment, their instructions are to turn it off.

Contact us for a free operational audit at your work site.