Lessons Learned from Fall 2019 Semi-Annual Facility Inspections

November 13, 2019

Donut chart outlining common deficiency areas found during Fall 2019 semi-annual IACUC facility inspections

The Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) completed its latest round of semi-annual facility inspections at the end of September.

These inspections are one of the most important tools we have for assessing our programmatic strengths and areas for individual and collective improvement(s) in service to the animals under our care.

As such, we hope that you will take a few minutes to review these latest findings along with our suggestions for improvement. Please also share and discuss this information with your staff, including any students involved with research in your laboratory.

Common Deficiency Areas Identified During Fall 2019 Inspections:


  • Eyewash stations not flushed monthly

  • Improper sharps storage/needles recapped

  • Unsanitizable materials
    (e.g., fabric or cloth chairs) in rooms

  • Food for human consumption stored in unapproved areas

  • Gas cylinders improperly secured

  • Inappropriate storage of hazardous waste

  • Daisy-chained power cords

Suggestions for Improvement:



  • Mops and brooms dirty
    and improperly stored

  • Euthanasia and isoflurane induction chamber(s) dirty and in need of proper cleaning

  • Unkempt surgical supplies

  • Areas cluttered and generally unkempt

Suggestions for Improvement:
  • Create and maintain a regular cleaning schedule

  • Review the new Sanitization Guidelines to familiarize yourself with the procedures and expectations for conducting and submitting equipment sanitization testing

  • Select one or two laboratory members to be accountable
    for these tasks



  • Materials and substances not labeled

  • Expired materials/drugs

  • Improper storage of controlled substances

Suggestions for Improvement:
  • Ensure all materials/substances are labeled and dated,
    if necessary, upon arrival/order
  • Create a schedule for tracking to ensure that expired substances
    or materials are removed from circulation/use or labeled appropriately for acute use



  • Sinks in need of repair

  • Rusting equipment
    (e.g., tabletops in animal rooms)

  • Cracked plaster

  • Inspectors unable to access locked storage boxes in animal area(s)

Suggestions for Improvement:
  • Work with your ULAM Husbandry Supervisor and/or Plant Operations staff to address any service or facility repairs
    in a timely manner

  • Remember, semi-annual IACUC facility inspectors must be provided access to all locked cabinets, drawers, and storage areas that store drugs and other medical materials



  • Post-operative monitoring sheets not available or incomplete

  • Singly-housed animal missing label outlining
    reason(s) for being singly-housed

Suggestions for Improvement:


Failure to follow proper policies and procedures, even those that may seem relatively small or insignificant, puts individual and animal safety at risk and could lead to serious citations for the entire University. Remember, maintaining a safe and secure environment for our animals and our research personnel is paramount to the integrity and success of our research.

Questions or concerns about semi-annual IACUC facility inspections, or any of the items outlined above, should be directed to the Animal Care & Use Office at acuoffice@umich.edu or (734) 763-8028.

We thank you for your diligence and attention to these important matters.