at the coal face

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at the coal face, where the work is actually happening
At the coal face - - 156088.jpg


From being in a coal mine, at the face where the mining is actually occurring, especially in dark, cramped, dirty, hazardous conditions. Compare front line and trenches, of similar formation.

Prepositional phrase[edit]

at the coal face

  1. (Britain, idiomatic) To be directly engaged in the operations of a business, rather than in a hands-off, managerial position.


See also[edit]