"Exceptionally dangerous" behaviour by an anti-logging protester in the Tarkine has been reported to safety authorities.
The incident on Wednesday is set to increase pressure on WorkSafe Tasmania to prosecute environmentalist Bob Brown Foundation protesters under state safety laws, a move pro-forestry activist and intending Windermere independent Legislative Council candidate Kelly Wilton has been pushing for for two years.
Britton Timbers managing director Shawn Britton said he understood workers came to suspect someone was in the bush while machinery was operating at a forestry coupe on Wednesday.
"Running around the bush near working machines is exceptionally dangerous," Mr Britton said.
He understood a worker got off the machine and went into the bush to check.
He was not sure if they turned off the machine at that point or left it running.
After the worker got off the machine, Mr Britton understood, a protester came out of the bush and chained themself to the machine.
Mr Britton said WorkSafe Tasmania was notified of the incident.
There have been a string of arrests and police charges at the coupe in recent days, including trespass charges.
Ms Wilton wants state authorities to also use Tasmania's workplace safety laws - which allow harsh penalties - against protesters who put themselves or others in danger, saying she fears it will take a death before action is taken.
A state government spokesperson on Wednesday said the government "strongly supports the rights of forestry workers to be able to go to work safely, without the threat and disruption of irresponsible, unsafe protest action".
"The Work Health and Safety Act 2012 imposes specific duties on people within the workplace, including protesters.
"This includes taking reasonable care for their own health and safety and ensure their acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons.
"Penalties for breaches of the Work Health and Safety Act can include fines ranging from $300,000 to $3 million and/or imprisonment for a term of five years or both."
The spokesperson said inquiries (from Ms Wilton) that were referred to the regulator by former premier Will Hodgman were ongoing and being treated separately to incident notifications received recently .
"These matters are currently being investigated," the spokesperson said.
Bob Brown Foundation campaign manager Jenny Weber said the logging contractor in the Tarkine was aware of protesters in the area.
"Contractors currently logging the rainforests have failed on numerous occasions to follow formal advice provided by Sus Timbers Tasmania (Sustainable Timbers Tasmania)," she said.
Ms Weber said the advice was that that loggers must cease activities, shut down equipment and secure and lock equipment when there were people in the forest.
"The Bob Brown Foundation endorses the non-violent actions of all forest defenders currently participating in the campaign to protect rainforests from logging in takayna/Tarkine," she said.
Mr Britton described the operation as a small harvest in an area selectively harvested about 70 years ago which was designated to produce small quantities of special timbers under the Tasmanian Forest Agreement (the so-called forest peace deal).
The Bob Brown Foundation on Thursday morning said 13 people had been arrested so far, including three on Thursday morning.
It called on Premier Peter Gutwein to "urgently halt the logging in these forests".