at the coalface

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at the coalface

Actively doing a certain job. These reports are just speculation—they didn't consult anyone actually at the coalface. I earned my retirement after 30 years at the coalface.

at the coalface

mainly BRITISH
When people talk about what is happening at the coalface of a particular profession, they are talking about the thoughts and actions of the people who are actually doing the job. The problem is that middle management simply don't know what is going on at the coalface. The aim is to show politicians the impact of their policies at the coalface. Note: This expression is used to suggest that these are the people who really know about the profession. Note: In a coal mine, the coalface is the part where the coal is being cut out of the rock.

at the coalface

engaged in work at an active rather than a theoretical level in a particular field. British
1998 Town and Country Planning Workers at the coalface of sustainable development need these success stories.

at the ˈcoalface

(British English) where the real work is done, not just where people talk about it: Many of the best ideas come from doctors at the coalface.
A coalface is the place deep inside a mine where the coal is actually cut out of the rock.