Six years later, CMEF graduate still credits course for advancing career

Juan Cardenas knew he wanted to pursue a safety career after 16 years as a petrochemical construction professional.

Cardenas sought out Construction and Maintenance Education Foundation’s (CMEF) Construction Site Safety Technician course (CSST) to help him begin his safety education in 2009. The class explores topics like Field Fundamentals in Construction Safety, OSHA Standards for Industry Best Practices, Technology, Management Safety systems. This mix resulted in training a world class safety professional.

“I had a heart to help mentor and coach my peers,” Cardenas said. “[But] when I first signed up for the CSST class, I had no idea of what I was getting in to.”

[quote align=’right’]”I see the Safety Department as the customer service department, and the workers are our clients. We should be able to provide necessary resources,” Cardenas said.[/quote]

Master Instructor William Fuller’s training techniques include what he calls the “one minute drill,” and the “three sided coin.” The one minute drill requires students to choose a chapter of the NCCER-guided curriculum and present the material for one minute to the class. Fuller said it helps students learn the material, as well as assists in public speaking skills.

“During the course I was encouraged to develop my own perception of field safety instead of following someone else’s. Over and over I was encouraged with what a Mr. Fuller coined as the “One minute Drill,” and the “Three sided coin” how to establish my own unique safety presence. The class catapulted myself deeper into Safety, and started my desire to learn more ,” Cardenas said.

From there, Cardenas credits his safety professional development to the CSST program and to Master Instructor William Fuller’s “relentless dedication” to his students.

“…[It does] not end at graduation night with a big feast, but Fuller continues to keep in touch and mentor his students even after they have graduated his class, if they wish,” Cardenas said.

P1020638Cardenas chose Safety as a career choice because he noticed a need. When he participated in the Safety meetings, Cardenas realized some of his colleagues did not fully understand the message because of the language barrier, so he began translating.

“I see the Safety Department as the customer service department, and the workers are our clients. We should be able to provide necessary resources. I’m always doing research. If you’re keeping yourself up to date, you’ll be a valuable research,” Cardenas said.

His career steadily improved over the years as a Field Safety Technician, but now Cardenas is employed at an engineering firm as a SHES consultant. He added that the career choice is extremely rewarding, knowing that he can help his fellow colleagues remain safe throughout their workday by providing an “umbrella of protection.”

“I believe the CSST course and professional mentors like William Fuller are the frame work of this umbrella, and I am the fabric.”


If interested in viewing CMEF’s training calendar or registering for a course, visit their website at or call their office at 281-478-3900.

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