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High-Voltage Safety Act

Electric Safety

46-3-30. Short title.
This part shall be known and may be cited as the "High-voltage Safety Act."

(Code 1981, section 46-3-30, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 2141, section 1.)


46-3-31. Purpose of part.
The purpose of this part is to prevent injury to persons and property and interruptions of utility service resulting from accidental or inadvertent contact with high-voltage electric lines by providing that no work shall be done in the vicinity of such lines unless and until the owner or operator thereof has been notified of such work and has taken one of the safety measures prescribed in this part.

(Code 1981, section 46-3-31, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 2141, section 1.)


46-3-32. Definitions.
As used in this part, the term:

  • "High-voltage lines" means an electric line or lines installed above ground level having a voltage in excess of 750 volts between conductors or from any conductor to ground.
  • "Notice" means actual notification given to the center.
  • "Person responsible for the work" means the person actually doing the work as well as any person, firm, or corporation who employs and carries on his payroll any person actually doing the work or who employs a subcontractor who actually does the work; provided, however, that this term does not mean one who is exempted under Code Sections 46-3-37 and 46-3-38.
  • "Utilities protection center" or "center" means the corporation or other organization formed by utilities which receive advance notifications regarding work and distributes such notifications to its utility members.
  • "Utility" means any person operating or maintaining high-voltage lines within the state.
  • "Work" means the physical act of performing or preparing to perform any activity under, over, by, or near high-voltage lines, including, but not limited to, the operation, erection, handling, storage, or transportation of any tools, machinery, ladders, antennas, equipment, supplies, materials, or apparatus or the moving of any house or other structure whenever such activity is done by a person or entity in pursuit of his trade or business.

(Ga. L. 1960, p. 181, section 1; Ga. L. 1974, p. 153, section 1; Code 1981, section 46-3-30; Code 1981, section 46-3-32, as redesignated by Ga. L. 1992, p. 2141, section 1.)


46-3-33. Required conditions for commencing work within ten feet of high-voltage line.

No person, firm, or corporation shall commence any work as defined in paragraph (6) of Code Section 46-3-32 if at any time any person or any item specified in paragraph (6) of Code Section 46-3-32 may be brought within ten feet of any high-voltage line unless and until:

  • The person responsible for the work has given the notice required by Code Section 46-3-34; and
  • The owner or operator of such high-voltage line has effectively guarded against danger from accidental contact by either deenergizing and grounding the line, relocating it, or installing protective covering or mechanical barriers, whichever safeguard is deemed by the owner or operator to be feasible under the circumstances.

(Code 1981, section 46-3-33, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 2141, section 1.)


46-3-34. Utilities protection center; funding of activities; notice of work; delay; responsibility for completing safety requirements.

  1. All utilities shall organize, participate as members in, and cooperate with the utilities protection center. In lieu of organizing a new center, if the organization defined as the utilities protection center in paragraph (13) of Code Section 25-9-2 undertakes to serve as the utilities protection center referred to in this part, it may do so and no duplicative center shall thereafter be established. The activities of the center relating to high-voltage lines shall be funded by all utilities.
  2. Where work is to be done, the person responsible for such work shall give notice to the utilities protection center during its regular business hours at least 72 hours, excluding weekends and holidays, prior to commencing such work and such notice shall:
    • Describe the tract or parcel of land upon which the work to be done is to take place with sufficient particularity to enable the owner or operator of the high-voltage lines to ascertain the precise tract or parcel of land involved;
    • State the name, address, and telephone number of the person who will be in charge of the work;
    • Describe the type of work to be engaged in by the person; and
    • Designate the date upon which the work will commence and will be completed.
  3. After receipt of the notice required by subsection (b) of this Code section, the owner or operator of the high-voltage line shall contact the person whose name is given as required by paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of this Code section within a reasonable time, so that appropriate satisfactory arrangements can be made for the completion of the safety precautions required by Code Section 46-3-33, including coordination of work schedules and payment of costs required to effect such safety precautions. Upon completion of such arrangements, the owner or operator of such high-voltage line shall effect such safety precautions within a reasonable time.
  4. If, after such arrangements are made, a delay in commencing the work is encountered, then the person responsible for the work shall be required to give a new notice as specified in subsection (b) of this Code section.
  5. The person responsible for the work shall be responsible to assure that the safety requirements of Code Section 46-3-33 are completed prior to the commencement of any such work.

(Ga. L. 1960, p. 181, section 5; Code 1981, section 46-3-33 Code 1981, section 46-3-34, as redesignated by Ga. L. 1992, p. 2141, section 1.)


46-3-35. Allocation of expense of precautionary measures taken pursuant to public highway construction.
Where, during any public highway construction, any temporary precautionary measure is required by this part to guard against accidental contact with high-voltage lines that are located upon public highways or roads which are owned by this state or a county thereof and which are located outside the corporate limits of any municipality, the expense of such temporary precautionary measure shall be borne by the owner or operator of such lines, provided that such construction is undertaken pursuant to a permit issued by the state or county, for which permit neither the state nor the county received consideration. The person responsible for the work nevertheless shall not commence any work until he has given notice as required by Code Section 46-3-34 and the safety precautions required by Code Section 46-3-33 have been effected.

(Ga. L. 1960, p. 181, section 5A; Code 1981, section 46-3-34; Code 1981, section 46-3-35, as redesignated by Ga. L. 1992, p. 2141, section 1.)


46-3-36. Administration and Enforcement of part by Commissioner of Labor.
Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L 1994, page 1673, section1 effective April 19, 1994.


46-3-37. Applicability of part to railway systems, electrical engineering systems, etc.

  1. This part shall not be construed as applying to the construction, reconstruction, operation, and maintenance of overhead electrical conductors and their supporting structures and associated equipment by authorized and qualified electrical workers. Specifically, this part shall not be construed as applying to the construction, reconstruction, operation, and maintenance of overhead electrical circuits or conductors and their supporting structures and associated equipment for rail transportation systems or for electrical generating, transmission, and distribution systems or for communication systems, when such work is performed by authorized and qualified employees of any person engaged in such work.
  2. When applied to railway systems, the exception provided in this code section shall be construed as permitting operation of standard rail equipment which is normally used in the transportation of freight or passengers, or both, or in the operation of relief trains or other equipment in emergencies, or in the maintenance of way service, at a distance of less than ten feet from any high-voltage conductor of such railway system; provided, however, that normal repair or construction operations at a distance of less than ten feet from any high-voltage conductor by other than properly qualified and authorized persons or employees under the direct supervision of an authorized person who is familiar with the hazards involved is prohibited, unless there has been compliance with the safety provisions of Code Section 46-3-33.
  3. Any telephone company or other entity which has a joint use contract with an electric company is specifically exempted from this part.

(Ga. L. 1960, p. 181, section 8; Code 1981, section 46-3-36; Code 1981, section 46-3-37, as redesignated by Ga. L. 1992, p. 2141, section 1.)


46-3-38. Applicability of part to moving or transportation of houses or buildings.
In addition to the exceptions set forth in Code Section 46-3-37, this part shall not be construed as applying to and shall not apply to the moving or transportation of houses or buildings or parts thereof when such moving is under the jurisdiction of, and is undertaken pursuant to authority granted by, the Georgia Public Service Commission.

(Ga. L. 1960, p. 181, section 4; Code 1981, section 46-3-37; code 1981, section 46-3-38, as redesignated by Ga. L. 1992, p. 2141, section 1.)


46-3-39. Restriction on liability of owners and operators of high-voltage lines; effect of part on duty or degree of care.

  1. The owner of operator of high-voltage lines shall not be liable for damage or loss to person or property resulting from work within ten feet of high-voltage lines unless notice has been given as required by Code Section 46-3-34 and the owner or operator of the high-voltage line has failed to comply with the provisions of Code Section 46-3-33.
  2. Except as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, nothing in this part shall be construed or applied so as to limit or reduce the duty or degree of care applicable to owners or operators of high-voltage lines with respect to damage or loss to person or property.

(Ga. L. 1960, p. 181, section 10; Code 1981, section 46-3-38; Code 1981, section 46-3-39, as redesignated by Ga. L. 1992, p. 2141, section 1.)


46-3-40. Criminal penalty; strict liability for injury or damage; indemnification; liability for cost of delay.

  1. Any person responsible for the work who violates any of the provisions of this part shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be liable for a fine of $1,000.00 for a first offense and $3,000.00 for a second or subsequent offense.
  2. Any person responsible for the work who violates the requirements of Code Section 46-3-33 and whose subsequent activities within the vicinity of high-voltage lines result in damage to utility facilities or result in injury or damage to person or property shall be strictly liable for said injury or damage. Any such person shall also indemnify the owner or operator of such high-voltage lines against all claims, if any, for personal injury, including death, property damage, or service interruptions, including costs incurred in defending any such claims resulting from work in violation of Code Section 46-3-33.
  3. In the event the owner or operator of the high-voltage line fails to effect the safeguards required by Code Section 46-3-33 within a reasonable time after notice is given and appropriate arrangements are made pursuant to Code Section 46-3-34, such owner or operator shall be liable for the reasonable costs incurred by any such delay.

(Ga. L. 1960, p. 181, section 7; Code 1981, section 46-3-39; Code 1981, section 46-3-40, as redesignated by Ga. L. 1992, p. 2141, section 1.)

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