Ideas revolving around the concept of resilience have solid momentum in current safety science and management. Resilience is a rather loose term in that it holds a variety of theories and definitions. There is however no doubt in that resilience as debated within safety science is heavily flavored by the Resilience Engineering (RE) approach (e.g. Hollnagel and Woods, 2006). According to Erik Hollnagel and colleagues, resilience refers to the ability of a system to adjust its functioning, ‘prior to or following changes and disturbances, Issue 2 2010 VVOOLL1144 2 so that it can sustain operations even after a major mishap or in the presence of continuous stress. Resilience is therefore both reactive and proactive’ (http://www.resilience-engineering.org/faq2.htm). The aim of the current study was to focus primarily on the reactive part of resilience by asking: how does resilience come into play during successful recovery of incidents? Incidents are here defined as situations of loss of hazard control in a system, resulting in a potential for hazard exposure of personnel, environment and material assets (Kjellén, 2000). The paper reports how a set of resilience based ‘Contributing Success Factors (CSFs) were operationalized and explored in terms of their possible contribution to early recovery of incidents in development. Although the operationalization of resilience includes elements from RE (Hollnagel et al., 2006), the resilience factors as suggested here are based on theoretical studies that are broader than RE as such, including additional interpretations of resilience as well as elements from improvisation theory.