A ceremony in St. John's to honour workers who died on the job was held on Monday, as part of an annual day of mourning for those killed or injured on the job.

The day holds special significance for people in Newfoundland and Labrador; this event has its origins when the Ocean Ranger sank 32 years ago.

Four workers die in Canada every day — about 1,000 every year. In this province alone, 30 workers died last year.

Colleen Dalton attends to be part of the remembrance of her husband, Wayne Dalton, who died in an explosion aboard the Kometik in 2006.

She said the event is part homage to those lost, and part of a call to action to ensure employers are doing everything possible to guarantee the safety of their workers.

Colleen Dalton

Colleen Dalton says she comes each year to remember her husband, who was killed in a workplace explosion in 2006. Dalton says it's important for employers to make sure similar incidents don't happen again. (CBC)

"Make sure that the safety polices are there but that they're enforced," said Dalton.

"It's OK to have them there, but if they're not enforced it really doesn't make any difference and I probably didn't have to suffer what I've suffered."

Change to procedures needed

Pat Stamp was injured in the same explosion that killed Dalton's husband.

He said it's vital that both workers and employers follow safety guidelines to prevent an accident like the one that injured him.

"You got to remember that procedures and polices that are in place, they are there to protect them — as employees and employers," said Stamp.

"If those rules are not followed, then accidents happen."

Barbara Byers, with the Canadian Labour Congress, said there are always some risks to workers, but employers still need to be held responsible.

Byers said there isn't criminal prosecution for employers when workers are injured or killed, and that's something she's working to change.

"We're working with lawyers, judges, community advocates to help them understand what needs to be done for some criminal prosecutions for employers who take the lives of workers and put them at risk," said Byers.