Effective occupational health and safety in coal mines is essential for the well-being of the workers and for the productivity of the industry. While the factors influencing the health, safety and well-being of miners are better recognised today than in the past, management of occupational health and safety in coal mines requires more than the ability to recognise problems. To be effective coal industry OH&S research projects need to deliver outcomes capable of reducing the risk to miners at the coal face. Applied research towards managing ever present hazards is essential. This paper reflects on the Australian and international experience relating to OH&S research in coal mining.