Self-employed workers are more likely than wage and salary workers to hold down dangerous jobs with high fatality rates, including farming, construction trades, timber-cutting and logging, and fishing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Self-employed workers (except those employed as fishers or timber cutters) also can have higher fatality rates than payroll employees in the same job. In some jobs, the difference in fatality rates is substantial.

Why? The BLS speculates that self-employed workers face greater risks because many do not benefit from safety program oversight. Self-employed independents work longer hours and may be exposed to workplace hazards for greater periods. And the self-employed are older, and older workers have a much higher fatality rate than younger ones.