The toxicological background for hazard assessment using a simple to use toolkit for assessment and management of health risks from occupational dermal exposure is presented. Hazard assessment is intended to answer the following questions: (i) is the substance under consideration capable of damaging the skin; (ii) is the substance under consideration capable of leading to systemic health effects after having penetrated the skin; (iii) to what extent may the substance become systemically available; (iv) is the hazard influenced by the concentration? Local effects (like irritation or corrosion) and systemic effects (like drowsiness or liver damage) are treated separately, taking into account their possible interrelations. Hazard assessment is performed on the basis of easily available risk phrases, which give a short characterization of the inherent toxicity of a pure chemical or preparation. The information provided by risk phrases and possibly additional data is transformed into a one-dimensional ranking system of intrinsic toxicity (IT) scores. IT scores are expressed in broad categories like low, moderate, high or extreme. This ranking provides plausible information on the relevance of potential skin contact to health effects.