The worker was hurt while working "above ground" but did not fall, authorities told WSOC-TV.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched an investigation into the accident, which could take about eight weeks to determine if any violations contributed to the incident.
In a statement, Carowinds said a third-party contractor was inspecting the WindSeeker ride when he was injured and taken to the hospital.
Flint Hill Fire Department officials told Channel 9 the man was working at the top of the tower when his hand got caught in a pulley and severed.
Flint Hill fire Capt. Jeff Nash said the department brought in a truck with a 100-foot ladder expecting a high-angle rescue.
"WindSeeker ride is a 301-foot tower, and clearly we don't have the ability to go up that high," Nash said.
A 911 call was initially received calling for a high-angle rescue, but that ended up not being necessary.
He was already lowered to the ground by the time fire officials got to the scene. The worker was loaded into an ambulance.
WSOC-TV's chopper flew over the scene and could see several emergency vehicles positioned near the base of the WindSeeker ride. Crews looked to be investigating as they walked around the area under the tower.
"With Carowinds amusement park, it adds a tremendous amount of complex situations," Nash said.
The Charlotte Fire Department was on the scene assisting the Flint Hill Fire Department.