On 6 October 2011, the 31-year-old male was visiting a friend in Port Isaac, Cornwall, when he plunged 15 feet into an open excavation. The edge of the excavation ran along a path directly in front of the property he was visiting.

The man sustained spinal injuries, a fractured skull and a burst ear drum as a result of the accident.

The HSE told Bodmin Magistrates’ Court that the building firm had failed to install a protective edge to stop people falling. HML Builders Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 31 (2) of Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. The firm was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £3,793 in costs.

James Davies, a solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors’ Serious Injuries Team said: “Failing to put an edge protection around the excavation left a trap that this unfortunate man walked into. The building company put the lives of their own workers as well as members of the public at risk. The prosecution should serve as a lesson to other firms that carry out similar work.”