Costains boss has said the rollout of the certification system, which will replace the existing CE marking on thousands of products, will likely need to be postponed a second time.
Earlier this week, the government agreed to postpone the UK Conformity Assessment (UKCA) by one year by Jan.
But Alex Vaughan said Building the industry, through the Construction Leadership Council, pushed for the delay to be twice as long.
The Costain CEO added, “We [the industry] have pushed for an extension. Twelve months is good, but you may need another extension. The original request was for 24 months. “
He added: “It is good that we have 12 months and the government is listening. Getting the expansion is a positive move, but the most important thing is testing and how much capacity [the UK] has received.”
Thousands of products have to be tested, and Vaughan said the government couldn’t afford to take short cuts to meet its new deadline. “That has to be done right.”
Testing capacity has been cited as the top concern for the new regime to work, and following news of the delay, a building products association spokesman admitted, “We’re actually not entirely convinced that a year will be enough to address all of the challenges ahead.”
Ministers argue that the UKCA mark will allow the UK to control its goods regulations while maintaining high standards of safety. The current CE marks have been used to certify products in a number of sectors in Europe since 1985.
Meanwhile, Vaughan said the firm, which was back in the black yesterday for the six months to June, after posting more than 90 million losses in the first half of last year on troubled contracts.
One of Costain’s losing jobs was on the A465 Heads of the Valley road project in South Wales for the Welsh government, which was plagued by problems in the soil made worse by heavy rainfall.
Vaughan said the government’s Construction Playbook, launched last year, showed the seriousness of making sure contractors get a fair deal – and not asked to take an unfair risk.
“The government gets it. You saw what happened to Carillion, the Aberdeen bypass [the loss-making job for Transport Scotland completed by Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try] and we. You want a strong supply chain and the playbook is an important step in making the right decisions. “
Costain recently revamped its governance structure after posting a pre-tax loss of $ 96 million last year.