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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Based on the above analysis, the area in front of the coalface is divided into energy release resistance zone, energy storage zone and unaffected zone, as shown in Figure 1.
"Well, the coalface tends to be the Croatian coastline in later summer," he laughs.
Nor despite all the spin, were any decisions taken that will be beneficial to workers at the coalface, either now or in the near future.
"There will never be a better opportunity for firms, working at the coalface, to have their views fed into the decision making process so they actually influence policy that will evolve over the next decade."
Paul Ragan has succeeded at the coalface of business and understands how the real world works and how money is made and jobs created.
This is the coalface where corporate strategy is put into practice, but like people, companies all have their own way of looking at what's best for the future and this is a key element in any investment decision--or lack of it.
Now this is not for a formal morning tea; instead, they walk around departments and visit employees at the coalface, one on one.
This modern-day alternative to traditional heavy props is said to work in thick seams without any problems and to improve the recovery rate of coalface hardware.
Most of us just took a step back from the coalface and enjoyed ourselves.
His moment on the stage of history past, the class-conscious miner returns to the coalface to await the next call to arms.
Jeremy Leaf, a North London estate agent and a former residential chairman of trade body Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said: "These numbers confirm what we are seeing at the coalface - a spring bounce but not as great as we might have expected."
"On one hand, I'm hearing stories from colleagues and consumers at the coalface about what's happening--struggles to access services, of not being able to see a therapist or a psychiatrist.
If you ask the workers in the UK as staffing levels are cut at the coalface, I am sure they would agree with me.
Neville knows that it will take a couple of years' graft at the coaching coalface somewhere mid-table before he and everyone else knows whether one of the brightest brains in football has what it takes to be an elite manager.