TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Peco Foods has named Dr. Peter Van Derlyke as the company’s first ever corporate director of health and safety.

Van Derlyke will be responsible for developing and implementing health and safety program across the company. He will also oversee compliance with all local, state and federal workplace safety and health standards.

“The safety of our 7,000+ team members guides our corporate actions and decisions every day and as we grow, we want to continue providing the environment and training necessary to maintain safety,” said Peco Foods CEO Mark Hickman. “Having Dr. Van Derlyke as our corporate director of health and safety demonstrates our longstanding commitment to achieving the highest level of safety possible.”

The company also said the new position will create mentoring plant level safety managers, develop incentives to drive continuous performance improvements, tracking performance through metrics and adjusting current practices to new or updated policies.

Van Derlyke brings 20 years of industry experience to the role where he’s worked on safety and environmental protection in food manufacturing, industrial health chemical processing and retail industries. He worked on safety management techniques with various companies including HP Hood, PepsiCo, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Ferro Corp.

Van Derlyke holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Mansfield Univ., Master of Science in Environmental, Health and Safety Management from Rochester Institute of Technology and Ph.D. in Safety Sciences from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is also a Certified Safety Professional and Certified Occupational Hearing Conservationist and served as an adjunct professor at his alma mater of Mansfield.