As I am sure you are aware; safety is paramount when it comes to lifting gear, risking anything usually means lives are at risk- and that shouldn’t be something you ever intend or practicing.
Excessively worn Load Chains and ropes are the main cause of dropped loads and fatalities, correct maintenance and inspection should never allow this to happen, but in the hands of the neglectful, it can. And it does. Above the hook equipment by law should be thoroughly inspected every 12 months, while it is recommended that equipment used intensely be inspected more regularly.
Load Ropes in particular can be more noticeable when it comes to a light ‘everyday’ visual inspection. Wear to the diameter of the rope is the most obvious signs while splintering and kinking can be another. Minor splintering should be monitored where as heavy splintering requires a new rope. With chains it is slightly different. Most wear occurs on the lower inside half of the chain link- this is where the majority of pressure is exerted, excessive wear if the hoist is not used often is usually down to lack of lubrication to the inners of the links. Many doubts and questions are raised when issues with Load Chains/Ropes arise due to an inspection, most companies will recommend a change, but the true decision is down to the company that own the equipment. My best advice is don’t risk a life to save a penny.
If in doubt- change it!