Joseph Jones, 61, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an inspector visited Norley Bank Farm, on Cow Lane in Norley, on 23 February 2009. He found Jones giving instructions to the men, who were working approximately four metres above the ground, while they refurbished the roof.
Halton magistrates court in Runcorn heard that HSE Inspector John Ellis immediately requested that the workers come down from the roof. He then issued a Prohibition Notice requiring work to stop until scaffolding or edge protection had been put up at the eaves of the roof.
HSE took the decision to prosecute due to the serious nature of the health and safety breach, and the potential risk to the lives of workers.
Mr Jones, of Chester Road in Pentre, South Wales, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000 on 25 October.
HSE Inspector John Ellis said: "Any of Mr Jones' four employees could have suffered a serious injury as a result of falling from the barn roof. It is only luck that none of the men were injured on this occasion. Mr Jones admitted in his interview with HSE that this project was larger than he normally carried out, and that in hindsight it was impossible to carry out the work without scaffolding. We publish free clear advice on the measures need when carrying out roof work. Mr Jones should have been aware of the expected standards."
Last year, more than 4,000 workers suffered major injuries as the result of falls from height and 15 lost their lives.