Tannery workers are at considerable risk of developing occupational contact dermatitis. Occupational skin diseases in tannery workers in newly industrialized countries have been reported, but neither the prevalence of occupational allergic contact dermatitis nor the skin-sensitizing agents were specifically examined in those studies. To assess the prevalence of occupational allergic contact dermatitis in Indonesian tanneries, identify the causative allergens, and propose a tannery work series of patch test allergens. A cross-sectional study in all workers at two Indonesian tanneries was performed to assess the prevalence of occupational contact dermatitis via a questionnaire-based interview and skin examination. Workers with occupational contact dermatitis were patch tested to identify the causative allergens. Occupational contact dermatitis was suspected in 77 (16%) of the 472 workers. Thirteen (3%) of these 472 workers were confirmed to have occupational allergic contact dermatitis. Potassium dichromate (9.2%), N,N-diphenylguanidine (5.3%), benzidine (3.9%) and sodium metabisulfite (2.6%) were found to be the occupationally relevant sensitizers. The sensitization pattern showed some differences from the data in studies reported from other newly industrial countries. We compiled a 'tannery work series' of allergens for patch testing. A number of these allergens may also be considered for patch testing in patients with (leather) shoe dermatitis.