The personnel in laboratories that utilize tissue and fluids from humans and other primates are at risk for infection with agents, including the viruses causing hepatitis, AIDS, and other infective agents such as mycobacteria tuberculosis. To minimize the chance of infection of laboratory personnel, carefully organized policies and procedures to minimize exposure to infective agents must be established in research laboratories. We outline some of the approaches of hospital clinical laboratories which have proved most effective in minimizing transmission of infections from samples to laboratory personnel. Also, we discuss simple considerations important in the use and in the selection of safety equipment. These guidelines and references to other safety information are provided to aid research laboratories in establishing safety procedures that will minimize chances of personnel contamination with infective agents from research samples. © 1988 Tissue Culture Association, Inc.