Current available risk analysis techniques are well adapted to industry needs since they were developed for its purpose. All hazards present in industry are also met in research/academia, although quantities of some hazardous substances are smaller. Still, because of its characteristics e.g., high turnover of collaborators, rapid reorientation of research programs, freedom of research, equipment often in development stage, difficulty to obtain accidents statistics, not well described processes, etc., research/academia milieu is an environment whose risks are difficult to assess by available risk analysis techniques. In the present paper, a new methodology, Laboratory Assessment and Risk Analysis - LARA, for research and/or complex environment is proposed. When multiple hazards are analyzed, the result of assessment is a risk ranking calculated using a Lab Criticity Index - LCI, providing identification of critical areas and prioritization of safety actions. LCI is conceived through two approaches: the Risk Priority Number - RPN and the Analytic Hierarchy Process - AHP. It is suggested to estimate risk as a combination of severity, probability, detectability, worsening factors and research specificities. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.