Monitor, normally if anyone asked me how weariong a ring contributes to finger loss I'd say: "You don't want to know". But obviously you do. It's known as "gloving" and a ring caught, say, on an edge at the top of a ladder can stay there and pull the skin and flesh of a finger off with it if the wearer slips and falls. It's very nasty and I'm sure you now wish you hadn't asked.
Re: monitor's comment about how do rings contribute to finger loss. I know of two guys who suffered thus, one got his ring caught on a protruding screwhead when jumping down from a forklift cab at work (ripped the finger off at the second joint) and another who "de-gloved" (medical term for stripped to the bone) a finger in a similar way. Not pleasant!
Regarding the risk of wearing wedding rings. The incident at my place of work some years ago was where someone tripped over and caught their ring on a metal post. I won't go into detail, just look up the word degloved. *shudder*
Monitor, you ask how a ring can contribute to finger loss? It's not just mechanics who avoid wearing rings, when I served in the army it was also discouraged - for very good reasons. I know of at least two people who caught their ring on a piece of equipment whilst moving at speed (e.g. jumping off a tank) and the ring basically strips the skin, flesh and in one case a knuckle joint. The result is not much of a finger left. Gory, but instructive.
Dodie James, London, UK
Further clues to the Monitor's identity if they have no grasp of health and safety in a manual labour environment! A wedding ring could easily get trapped or caught in heavy machinery and cause the finger to be severed.
Kelly (Office bound, but with a foot in the real world), Oxford
The organisers of the Grand National claim that the race is a "fair test for horses". Perhaps they could name a "fair test" for human beings in which (1) people are compelled to take part and (2) approximately 1.5% of participants die as a direct result?
David Richerby, Liverpool, UK
The problem with this article is that the risk isn't to the people taking part, but to the horses carrying them. I'll bet that if the death toll for jockeys was this high, things would be seen differently!
Peter, Hemel Hempstead, UK
Re: Paper Monitor. A lot of "Meeja" do it. The BBC is a perfect example with "news" appearing year after year. Magazine Monitor is quite expert at digging up old articles/features and pushing them out again
Malcolm, Wrexham, Wales, United Kingdom
John Bratby in Southampton (Monday's letters): you're out by several orders of magnitude - about three if you're comparing the length of Wales north to south to the diameter of the pin, or about 11 if you're comparing surface areas. Try comparing the population of Wales to the carrying capacity of 5 Routemaster buses.
Alexander Lewis Jones, Nottingham, UK