Lessons Learned from March Semi-Annual Facility Inspections

May 25, 2017

Donut chart outlining common deficiency areas found during March 2017 semi-annual IACUC facility inspectionsIn March, the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) completed its first round of semi-annual inspections using the new standardized schedule, which aims to eliminate study team burden throughout the year by shifting inspections of all animal facilities, including housing rooms and use locations, to twice a year in the Spring and Fall.

We recognize that this round of inspections closely coincided with the Mock AAALAC Site Visit at the end of February, and included many process changes, including the recording and distribution of inspection results through the eResearch Animal Management (eRAM) system.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we navigated these changes together. Throughout this process, the Animal Care & Use Office has been diligently tracking your suggestions and comments on how to further improve our processes to better meet your needs; we look forward to incorporating these additional enhancements before the next round of semi-annual inspections in the Fall.

Additional feedback is welcomed, and will be formally requested via email, in the near future. Feedback and/or suggestions should be sent to Amanda Dingman in the Animal Care & Use Office at adingman@umich.edu.

Inspection Findings and Identified Areas for Improvement

For your convenience, and in the continued pursuit of programmatic transparency, we’ve outlined common deficiency areas found in this most recent round of inspections, as well as suggestions for how they can be avoided in the future.

Please take a moment to discuss these results with your entire laboratory staff:

Deficiency Area: Occupational Health & Safety (50%)
  • Eye wash stations not flushed monthly
  • Sharps containers not dated or PAST date
  • Improper use/lack of PPE
How to Remain Compliant:


Deficiency Area: Cleanliness / Sanitation (17%)
  • Boxes stored improperly
  • Brooms/mops stored on the floor
  • Unkempt area
How to Remain Compliant:
  • Use plastic storage containers instead of cardboard
  • Create and maintain a regular cleaning schedule


Deficiency Area: Expired and/or Improperly Labeled Substances (17%)
  • Conical tubes not labeled
  • Expired drugs stored
  • Diluted substances not dated or labeled
How to Remain Compliant:


Deficiency Area: Room Maintenance (16%)
  • Peeling paint
  • Cracked floors
  • Rusting equipment
How to Remain Compliant:
  • Coordinate with ULAM Animal Care Supervisors and/or Plant Operations to address facility issues in a timely manner


Failure to follow proper policies and procedures, such as those outlined above, puts individual and animal safety at risk and could lead to serious citations for the entire University. Maintaining a safe and secure environment for our animals and our research personnel is paramount to the success of our institution and the integrity of our research. Thank you for your diligence in this matter.