Dermal exposure to industrial chemicals during work is of major concern in the risk assessment of chemicals. Current approaches in procedures for European legislation are not based on experimental data on dermal exposures in workplaces because these are lacking. A large project, with four interrelated work parts, was funded by the European Commission (DG Research) in order to overcome large parts of this problem. The 4 year project is now in its final year and an overview is given of an important part of the project: the development of a risk assessment and risk management toolkit for dermal exposure. Five other papers in this issue deal with various aspects of this development.