Handsaw cut to left hand, partially severed tendon

Date of incident


Location of incident

Port Coquitlam British Columbia Canada

Age of impacted party



Serious Injury

Type of incident

Cut body part

Type of equipment involved


Type of injury


Bodily injury to

Upper limb

Action taken

First aid administered (not by medical professional), Offsite Medical Professional assistance

Involvement of contributor

Worker performing task



Causes of the incident

Regulatory or industry best practice non-compliance

Description of incident

I was pruning a medium sized Catalpa tree, I was 95% complete and pruning out the last few epicormic shoots on a low limb. I was using my Silky saw to prune out some thin shoots. I hand my left hand over to the left of me, and was pruning a small shoot over to the right with my right hand. I had the silky saw held horizontal, as I attempted to prune off a shoot the saw got stuck so I pulled with more force, the saw cut through the shoot and followed through with a lot of force and momentum and struck my left hand which was approximately 2 feet away. I was wearing gloves at the time, as soon as I hit my hand I new I had broken through the skin. I defended from the tree, removed my glove to see the skin had peeled back and I could see my knuckle. Later that day I went to a walk in clinic, the doctor referred me onto the emergency at the local hospital as he saw that I have severed a tendon. At the hospital they confirmed thatI had partially severed the tendon to my left index finger and would need surgery to stitch it back together. I had the surgery and it took a long and frustrating 12 weeks to rehab and recover.

Contributing factors

Having a limb/hand in line with the blade of the silky saw even though it was 2 feet away.

Incident review and preventative measures

Make sure my work positioning is good at all times, and keep limb out of the 'line of fire' when using a saw, no matter how far away.

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Daniel Holliday