There are two ways to search our site. You can search:
- the entire CCOHS site using the search box in the main navigation bar, or
- across databases (chemical, bibliographic, legislation, MSDSs, etc.) and additional resources (OSH Answers, IPCS INCHEM, etc.). Advanced Search options are also provided.
Use the Quick Reference table below as a guide to searching our service.
- Search Hints & Tips
- Additional Ways to Refine Your Search
Use the database help as a guide to searching specific fields and search examples:
||Finds all records with:
|all word forms, such as:
inspect, inspects, inspected, inspection, re-inspection, inspector, etc.
||the word inspector only
||all forms of the word welding that also contain all forms of the word fumes
||AIDS, as well as aids but not aiding, aided, etc.
||White, as well as white but not Whiting
||clean-up as well as clean and up
||1986 as a numeric string, i.e. SOR/1986-77
||the exact word White not white or WHITE
||the exact word AIDS not aids or Aids
||toluene, toluene diisocyanate, vinyl toluene, etc.
||words ending with butanol, i.e. 2-butanol
||CAS registry number 1330-20-7
||"indoor air quality"
||exact phrase indoor air quality only
||exact phrase long-term exposure
||words beginning with carnino, i.e. carcinogenic, carcinogenicity, etc.
||words ending with flammable, i.e. inflammable, non-flammable
||CAS registry numbers with 7440
(as in 7440-02-0, 7440-50-8, 7440-41-7, etc.)
||absorption and adsorption
||centre and center
||the molecular weight 74.92
||SOR/2002-208 including the punctuation
||the phrase workers’ compensation including the apostrophe
|hazardous AND waste
||both hazardous and waste
|hazardous AND waste AND disposal
||all words must be present (hazardous and waste and disposal)
||shell AND gasoline
||both words must be present shell and gasoline
||shell AND gasoline AND unleaded
||all words must be present shell and gasoline and unleaded
|"skin sensitiz*" NOT corrosive
||skin sensitizer or skin sensitization but not corrosive
|headache OR nausea
||either headache or nausea
|headache OR dizziness OR nausea
||any of headache or dizziness or nausea
Use parentheses to make the search precise. If AND and OR operators are used without parentheses, the AND operation will occur first followed by OR operations. See Additional Ways to Refine Your Search for search examples using parentheses.
Search Hints & Tips
- Searching for words automatically finds all forms of the words (as illustrated above). To avoid this "stemming" use quotes around the word.
- When searching using multiple words, words are automatically combined together using the And operator (automatically Anded) in order to narrow your search. A search for welding fumes will find all forms of the word welding and the word fumes. To search for an exact phrase such as welding fumes, use quotes, e.g. "welding fumes".
- If your search finds too many hits, try to use words that are very unique
and specific. In our databases, avoid words such as "safety" or "health" as they
appear in many records. Also, if your word is too general, such as "solvent" or "paint", you get a long list of search hits.
- The words AND, OR, and NOT are always treated as search operators unless
they are enclosed in double quotation marks, e.g. as in a search for health “and” safety, or “health and safety”.
- In bibliographic collections such as OSH References, it is important to try a variety of synonymous terms to ensure greater results, i.e. RSI <OR> RMI <OR> "Carpal Tunnel".
- Use parentheses to make the search precise. If AND and OR operators are used without parentheses, the AND operation will occur first followed by OR operations. See Additional Ways to Refine Your Search for search examples using parentheses.
- If searching using CAS Registry Numbers, please note that some databases
do not include CAS numbers, e.g. HSELINE (part of the OSH References collection).
- Searching is case in-sensitive in all databases. Therefore:
- In OSH References, if searching for the proper name of an author make sure to use the <CASE> operator followed by quotation marks, e.g. <CASE> "White" will find White but not white. Or, you can search for "White" <IN> Author.
- In MSDS/FTSS, a search using either shell or SHELL will find both Shell and SHELL.
- When using words or phrases with punctuation, e.g. apostrophy ('), ampersand (&), or periods, enclose them in quotation marks. See the examples in the Quick Reference above.
- For product names, be sure your spelling is accurate. If
in doubt, use the wildcard features:
- a search for ?lean will find clean and klean
- a search for gas* will find gas and gasoline.
Additional Ways to Refine Your Search
You can further refine your search or do a more precise search using these operators:
||Finds all records with:
||fire <NEAR> storage
||these words near each other
(the closer the words are in the record, the higher the ranking)
(where # is up to 1000)
|waste <NEAR/10> disposal
||these words within 10 words of each other
(words in same sentence)
|nausea <SENTENCE> rash
||nausea and rash in the same sentence
(words in same paragraph)
|mould <PARAGRAPH> schools
||mould and schools in the same paragraph
|Typo & Spelling*
(up to 2 typos)
||either fetoxisity or fetoxicity
||(nuclear OR radioactive) AND program
either nuclear or radioactive, that also contain program
|((nuclear OR radioactive) AND program) AND air
||either nuclear or radioactive, that also contain program and air
||(Loctite OR Henkel) AND adhesive
||either Lockite or Henkel, that also contain adhesive
Use parentheses to make the search precise. If AND and OR operators are used without parentheses, the AND operation will occur first followed by OR operations.
Tip*: Searches using the TYPO operator automatically find the US and UK spelling of most words, e.g. find sulfur and the UK spelling sulphur as well as spelling variations such as labeling and labelling.
Advanced Search Page -- to execute a precise search:
Using the Advanced Search page, you can:
- build your search step-by-step using the boxes at the top of the Advanced Search page,
- type your query statement, including all appropriate syntax, in the Query box.
Each database/collection has an Advanced Search page which allows you to search in the specific fields for that database/collection. Click on the drop down button next to All Fields and select the field, e.g. Title, you wish to search. Frequently searched fields are provided in the drop down list.
While viewing a database record, you can find out the appropriate search names of all fields. Turn on the Field Help from the toolbar and click on the ? help symbol next to the field in any database record. You can now view the field description and field name to be used for searching (e.g. CASRegistryNumber).
Tip: For a complete list of database fields, while viewing a database record turn on the Field Help from the toolbar and click on the ? help symbol next to the field in any database record. You can now view the field name and its description, from the complete list of fields for the database. You can easily print this list, by clicking in the field help window, right-clicking and then selecting Print.
For more information on searching specific database fields, see the database help from the Advanced Search page or select a database: