Biological laboratories are special work environments and it is therefore very important to consider, right from the design phase, all necessary measures to protect both the personnel working there and the people, animals and plants outside. It should also be borne in mind that, however well-designed a facility might be, if it is used inappropriately this may cause the safety measures to fail.
Both Spanish Royal Decree 664/1997 (biological agents) and Spanish Royal Decree 178/2004 (GMOs) define minimum biosafety levels for working with each one of the risk groups. There are also other measures that should be taken into account depending on the result of the risk assessment, though they are not compulsory under the regulations.
Principal characteristics of different facilities.