Lessons Learned from Spring 2019 Semi-Annual Facility Inspections

August 13, 2019

The Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) began its latest round of semi-annual inspections on Tuesday, August 6. 

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

Inspections will run through September and include any animal rooms, surgical support spaces, and areas where procedures are conducted on animals.

The success of our Program and the integrity of our research depend upon our shared responsibility for, and partnership in, ensuring the highest animal welfare standards at all times, and in all circumstances.

As stewards of the Animal Care & Use Program and your partners in the conduct of responsible research, we are providing the common program deficiencies identified during the Spring 2019 round of semi-annual inspections.

We ask that you please review this information with your staff to help better our program and facilitate improvements wherever possible.

You are also encouraged to download and review our Are You Inspection Ready? Checklist to share with your lab staff. This checklist can be used as a self-evaluation tool to make sure that your lab is properly prepared for any upcoming inspections. It also contains important information on recurring deficiency trends to help you focus on specific areas of concern.

Common Deficiency Areas Identified During Spring 2019 Inspections:


  • Eyewash stations not flushed monthly

  • Equipment (e.g., snorkel vacuum, fume hood, biosafety cabinet, etc.) overdue for certification

  • Recapped needles

  • Gas cylinders improperly secured

  • Improper use/lack of PPE

Suggestions for Improvement:
  • Develop a maintenance schedule for flushing
    eyewash stations, changing sharps containers, etc.

  • Post signs as reminders

  • Review the EHS Animal Handler PPE Chart
    with your lab staff



  • Improperly stored boxes

  • Unsanitizable materials in room
    (e.g., fabric chairs)

  • Areas generally unkempt

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

  • Check area for trip hazards

  • Assure storage is sanitizable and organized



  • Chipped and peeling paint

  • Rusting equipment

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



  • Lack of appropriate/accurate signage
    for any present hazards

  • Unreadable labels/records

  • Expired and/or unlabeled substances
    or materials

Suggestions for Improvement:
  • Check all drugs/diluted substances on a regular basis
    and discard, or appropriately label, all containers

  • Create a schedule for tracking to ensure that expired substances or materials are removed from circulation/use
    or labeled appropriately for acute use



  • Singly-housed animal missing enrichment items/labels outlining reason(s) for being

  • Post-operative monitoring sheets not available

Suggestions for Improvement:


Semi-annual inspections are one of the most important tools we have for ensuring that our Program continues to operate within the policies, standards, and guidelines that govern animal care and use.

We hope you’ll join us in capitalizing on these inspections as an opportunity to establish an open and ongoing dialogue about the myriad ways we can assess our Programmatic strengths, as well as areas of individual and collective improvement(s) in service to the animals under our care.

Questions or Concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns about semi-annual inspections, please contact the Animal Care & Use Office at acuoffice@umich.edu or (734) 763-8028.