at the coalface

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at the coalface

Actively doing a certain job. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. 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

  (British & Australian)
someone who is at the coalface is doing the work involved in a job, not talking about it, planning it, or controlling it You sit in your office looking at consultants' reports, but it's the men and women at the coalface who really understand the business.