Prosecutors have filed charges against the federal environment department and one of its contractors following the death of a helicopter pilot in Antarctica. It is alleged they failed in their duties under work health and safety laws.
On January 11 last year, Captain David Wood, 62, stepped out of his helicopter and fell into a crevasse.
He died the following day of hypothermia.
An inquest heard in the ACT Coroner's Court this year has scrutinised the circumstances around his death.
But the inquest is not yet finished, and the charges come from a separate investigation by federal regulator Comcare.
The alleged breaches carry a maximum penalty of $1.5 million each.
Mr Wood's wife Mary Macdonald, who was in Canberra this week at further inquest hearings, told Fairfax Media via her lawyers that she welcomed the news of further proceedings following his death.
The inquest this year heard that Mr Wood, who worked for a company called Helicopter Resources, had landed across a snow-covered crevasse before he fell into the icy chasm.
Mr Wood and another pilot were on a routine mission together to restock fuel at the cache site on a remote ice shelf.
But when Mr Wood fell he became tightly wedged in the ice several metres down.
His colleague flew back to Australia's Davis station for help, a one hour flight each way.
He returned hours later with a team of search and rescue specialists, one of whom climbed into the ice with Mr Wood to help retrieve him.
The team pulled Mr Wood, a dual Australian-Canadian citizen, from the ice and flew him back to Davis.
Doctors gave him hours of continual medical treatment at base, while experts in polar medicine and re-warming techniques helped via telephone. But Mr Wood died the following day of hypothermia.
The inquest, heard by the ACT's Chief Coroner Lorraine Walker, has scrutinised the circumstances around Mr Wood's death over several weeks this year.
Among the topics canvassed were whether delays rescuing Mr Wood contributed to his death, the adequacy of his clothing, and the treatment he received.
Ms Macdonald told the court on the inquest's first day that her husband was an experienced pilot who had flown around the world.
She said he fought fires from the air and flew a helicopter for a news station.
It was supposed to be his last tour of the remote continent before he retired to their home in Canada, she said.
Also during the inquest, rescuers gave a harrowing account of the retrieval, and the choice they faced between leaving Mr Wood in the ice to die or using force to pull him out and risk serious harm.
The Davis station leader at the time said he believed the incident was preventable, in part because the pilots had already been aware of a crevasse but had not reported it.
On Thursday, Comcare said federal prosecutors had filed charges against the department of environment, and its contractor Helicopter Resources, alleging it had breached federal work health and safety laws.
"The prosecution follows an investigation by federal work health and safety regulator Comcare.
"The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has filed three charges in the ACT Magistrates Court alleging the Department, through its Australian Antarctic Division, failed in its duties under the federal Work Health and Safety Act."
Mr Wood's employer Helicopter Resources, which is contracted by the environment department, will also face three charges.
The matters will first appear in the ACT Magistrates Court on February 22.
The inquest is set down to continue hearings next year.