If the ladder had been tethered to the wall, it would have remained suspended, and not crashed directly to the ground, unless it was tethered by a insecure sliding block and line system.
I recall once being at a H&S demonstration, regarding heavy 'slinging'. The expert instructor mentioned the risk of using chains and wearing finger rings or other loose items. After giving his sermon, he then commenced to chain an item ready for lifting, and duly held the chain while the crane tension was applied. We all looked at each other at this great demonstration, because the expert instructor was wearing a wedding ring that was sliding along the chain (how many people have lost fingers or other body parts to that type of manoeuvre- I wonder!).
As an ex-BT worker (UG maintenance-Glasgow) - I have climbed many a ladder. Climbing to the top of telegraph poles was easy-peasy, because you could tether ladder to bottom and top, you were your own safety officer.
But, when erecting ladders againt walls, to work at a height, it was always the practice to get a workmate to 'foot the ladder'.
'Known as a two-man party'
Unfortunately, whilst working in Govan Shipbuilders, using a fully extended ladder - I was at the top, tracing a cable fault, I shouted down to my ladder-footer to hand me up a piece of equipment.The ladders slipped and I ended up in the Southern General with two crushed arms...and I am lucky to be alive.
It only takes a moment of carelessness to cause a serious accident.
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