The story gives some perspective on an issue I’ve been wondering about for a while. Is it really safer to have someone at the base of your ladder holding it steady? I’ve always believed you can fall off nearly any ladder, even one that is set up at exactly the right angle on a perfectly flat surface. Sometimes it’s the operator’s responsibility to stay on the ladder. Over-reaching, maintaining three points of contact, making sure both feet are solidly supported . . . all of these have to happen, even on a perfect setup.

Little Oakley: Man airlifted to hospital after ladder accident

The ambulance service were called at 10.43am dispatching a rapid response vehicle, ambulance, paramedic officer and the Essex Air Ambulance to a private address in the Rectory Road area of Little Oakley.

Steve Box, the paramedic officer who attended the scene said: “The man who had fallen suffered a minor back injury and was treated at the scene. However, a man in his 70s stood at the bottom of the ladder suffered multiple injuries to his head, chest and arm.

“Crews provided urgent care and administered pain relief at the scene before the man was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital where he is thought to be in a stable condition.”

An ambulance spokesman said he believed the men had been working together at the property.

“The man, who was at the bottom of the ladder, his injuries were quite serious and needed to be treated at the scene,” he said.

“The guys from the air ambulance who can administer the critical care did so just in time.”

The man, who was on the ladder fell from a height of 20 feet; he was treated at the scene.