Developers are being warned to take appropriate safety measures to protect both workers and the public, as they face fines and injury compensation claims if they fail to do so.
This warning comes after a developer from Leicester was issued with a hefty fine by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) when a fire-damaged Victorian mill undergoing refurbishment collapsed.
"The collapse of the building nearly resulted in tragic consequences as one of the workers was in the building and only just managed to get out in time," said HSE inspector Cliff Seymour.
Bukan Singh Hothi, director of development company 426 Leicester, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay court costs of £7,500 at Nottingham Crown Court.
The prosecution comes soon after HSE inspectors were forced to hand out 21 enforcement notices at construction sites in West London, which are issued when conditions are so unsafe that work must be stopped immediately.