The normal activity in the laboratory of microbiology poses different risks - mainly biological - that can affect the health of their workers, visitors and the community. Routine health examinations (surveillance and prevention), individual awareness of self-protection, hazard identification and risk assessment of laboratory procedures, the adoption of appropriate containment measures, and the use of conscientious microbiological techniques allow laboratory to be a safe place, as records of laboratory-acquired infections and accidents show. Training and information are the cornerstones for designing a comprehensive safety plan for the laboratory. In this article, the basic concepts and the theoretical background on laboratory safety are reviewed, including the main legal regulations. Moreover, practical guidelines are presented for each laboratory to design its own safety plan according its own particular characteristics.