Matthew Bowcott

Safety is all in a day’s work

Injured young worker to speak to Surrey high school students.



When Matthew Bowcott landed a job as a cook at a restaurant at age 19, he was so happy about it, he started planning a career in the industry.

“I’ve always had an interest and a passion for cooking,” he said. “I was excited that I got the job and like most young workers I wanted to impress.”

One evening shift, as part of his closing duties, Bowcott emptied the deep fryers and was carrying a 10-gallon pot of 375-degree oil for disposal. At the same time, one of the other cooks was spraying water on the kitchen floor and Matthew got a gut feeling something wasn’t right.

Moments later, Bowcott’s feet slipped on the wet ceramic tile, spilling hot oil on his body and face, missing his eyes, nose, and mouth by a quarter of an inch. Had he swallowed the oil, his organs would have been burned and he would not have survived.

Bowcott will share his story with high school students at Frank Hurt Secondary (13940 77 Ave.) on Thursday, Sept. 29, Friday, Sept. 30 and Monday, Oct. 3.

Having experienced a serious workplace injury, Bowcott is able to authentically describe the harsh reality, the pain and the long-term consequences.

According to WorkSafeBC, the injury rate for young workers has improved, while the rate at which young males are injured continues to be higher than the provincial average.

In 2015, 6,900 young workers were injured on the job – an average of 19 per day.

Bowcott is part of WorkSafeBC’s Young Worker Speakers Program, which aims to raise young worker awareness of their right to refuse unsafe work and to promote their health and safety on the job.

To attend one of his speaking sessions, call the school at 604-590-1311

Just Posted

Where are Delta’s missing salmon?

Cougar Creek is seeing lower-than-usual returns of spawning salmon. The Blob may be the reason.

UPDATE: Suspect of interest ID’d after man shot near Surrey school

Police don’t know what motive was in shooting near Surrey-Delta border

VIDEO: MP details what gang and housing announcements mean for Surrey

Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai speaks about recent funding commitments

Double graves coming to Surrey civic cemeteries for the first time

Surrey council approves cemetery bylaw changes, which will also allow upright headstones

COLUMN: Cannabis legalization brings challenges for Canadian police

Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord talks about the challenges police face as pot becomes legal

VIDEO: ‘Glow Christmas’ opens for the holiday season

Massive Langley light show features 500,000 lights

First Nation plans to block Kinder Morgan pipeline

A “healing lodge” will be constructed in the path of Trans Mountain project

Last days for notorious homeless camp in Chilliwack River Valley

One local sports fisher frustrated by slow response from police and all levels of government

Fuel spill follows train derailment near Hell’s Gate

Empty grain train jumped the track after a landslide

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

False killer whale ‘Chester’ dies at Vancouver Aquarium

He was found stranded near Tofino in July 2014 and only had a 10 per cent chance of making it at the time

Cougar confronts man in Clearwater

Clearwater resident Barry Joneson had a close encounter of the cougar kind

Most Read