An ASTM A391 steel chain link of an over head hoist failed catastrophically, causing damage to both property and personnel. Macrofractography identified the sequence of fractures within the chain link. The first fracture occurred at the welded joint, a second occurred opposite the weld. SEM fractography and metallography indicated that the link failed in a ductile manner because of tensile overload, which occurred when the hoist hook contacted the hoist's housing and prevented uptake of the chain. It was recommended that a load-sensing device be installed to prevent future occurrences and that a dye penetrant inspection be performed on the renwinder of the chain.