Lessons Learned from Spring 2020 Semi-Annual Facility Inspections

June 3, 2020

Donut chart outlining common deficiency areas found during Spring 2020 semi-annual IACUC facility inspectionsThe Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) completed its latest round of semi-annual facility inspections in mid-April.

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 Spring 2020 Inspections:



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

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




  • Eyewash stations not flushed monthly

  • Improper sharps storage/needles recapped

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

  • Fume hoods, biosafety cabinets, and cage changing stations not appropriately certified

  • Food for human consumption
    stored in unapproved areas

  • Gas cylinders improperly stored

  • Inappropriate storage of hazardous waste

  • Daisy-chained power cords

Suggestions for Improvement:




  • Sinks in need of repair

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

  • Walls, floors, ceilings, and/or doors
    are damaged and in need of repair

  • 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 where drugs and other medical materials are kept




  • Animal room records, including cage cards
    and room sheets, were incomplete

  • Sanitation practices for all laboratory equipment that comes into direct contact with animals could be improved

  • Expired animal foods were found

Suggestions for Improvement:




  • 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




  • Post-operative monitoring sheets
    not available or incomplete

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

Suggestions for Improvement:

**Percentages above represent the number of overall deficient findings in a given area (e.g., General Housekeeping – 29% denotes that,
of the total findings identified during Spring 2020 IACUC semi-annual facility inspections, 29% were related to housekeeping).

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.